"Surprising and touching..." The Confluence by @GuhaPuja #review

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The Confluence

Written by Puja Guha

Genre(s): General Fiction

The story of an Indian family separated by a painful event that eventually finds their way back together.

In 2045, Naina Ranjeeva writes a letter to recount the journey that led to the adoption of her son Nikhil.

Decades earlier, she stumbles upon a lead on the location of her aunt, who had disappeared when Naina was just a child. After her aunt's disappearance, Naina's family also completely lost contact with her beloved younger cousin, Nitu. With her aunt's location in hand, Naina takes the first step toward locating her cousin by traveling to the Republic of East Africa to search for her aunt. Her journey eventually leads her to Calcutta where she finds her cousin Nitu and his three-year-old son Nikhil. After two decades apart, the family starts to bridge the gap caused by years of separation, within the backdrop of political turmoil and revolution in East Africa.

Raindancer22's Review

Surprising and touching...

In this story, Naina is about to get married when she discovers that her long-lost aunt is living in East Africa. Wary, but interested in finding out what happened to her favorite cousin, Naina takes a trip that will change her life. She meets with her aunt and through trial and error finds her cousin living in India, but things quickly go wrong. What with the turmoil in East Africa (a fictional country that the author says is a composite of other countries in the area she has explored) and some deeply buried family secrets, Naina and her soon-to-be husband Dev have some big decisions to make.

The story is told through letters from Naina to her adopted son, Nikhil, looking back on this period of her life and telling Nikhil the story of his early years. This could so easily feel forced or fake, but it never does. I could clearly imagine Naina twenty years later, recalling all the details of how she reconnected with a branch of her family and came to know her son.

This is a touching story of conflict and connection which totally caught me off guard. Definitely recommended.

Disclaimer: Book provided by the author free of charge in exchange for an honest review.