Haveli (though the name sounds spooky) is a beautiful tale of a smart and witty Pakistani Punjabi girl who finds herself in odd situation almost all the times. I am not sure you could use “cute” as an adjective for books, but that is exactly what comes to mind when I think about Haveli. After reading murder mysteries and war stories for a long time now, this entertaining story with Bollywood style twists felt refreshing.
Chandani or C., as she likes to call herself, is a teen-aged girl brought up in a respected Pakistani family. She has been brought up by her grandmother in an extended family after her mother dies heartbroken over a husband who chose to leave them both. The grandmother or The Broad is a stickler for manners and etiquettes well-suited for a royalty which makes C’s life difficult. She has a crush over Kunwar, who is way too old for her. Just when she was dreaming about having a married life with Kunwar, Alpha Male or Taimur comes into picture and is projected as C’s would be husband. At almost the same time, C’s long lost father makes an appearance with a handsome hunk, Nameless. C is caught in turbulence over her forced alliance with Alpha Male, her father’s overt display of affection and Nameless’s flirtatious behavior.
You will absolutely immediately fall in love with C. Rebellious, witty and smart, she is full of life. The names that C has given the characters are so well-defined that you end up drawing mental caricatures of them. The story is pretty predictable but moves fast and treatment of every situation word-wise makes up for the predictability. The only drawback- it’s too short. I wish there were more of Chandani’s clever conversations. I am certainly going in for more of Zeenat Mahal’s books.
About the Author- Zeenat Mahal is a TOP 10 bestselling romance author. She has an MPhil in English literature and an MFA in creative writing from Kingston University, London. She loves travelling, art, musicals, classics and all sorts of museums. (Source: Goodreads)