I enjoyed this novel. I truly did. It's light and romantic with a socially conscious twist and a smidgen of mystery thrown in for good measure. And it absolutely qualifies as a "solid read with a strong female lead" (see my "posts by topic" list in the right-hand column or click on the label at the bottom of this post for more of these), so I'm even more appreciative of Lindsay McFerrin Bates's efforts on her very first novel.
What's it about?
What do "Untouchables" in India have to do with a single mom in NYC and a beautiful British businessman? Once you pick up Random Placement, you'll join the rest of us readers in racing through this fluidly-wrought novel to find the answer. And you'll travel from NYC to Maine to London to Hyderabad in Andrha Pradesh to sleuth out the mystery linking Holly, the Dalit ("Untouchable") Jogini girl Anjali, and Sam.
Can you offer me a sample of her prose style?
Sure. Sample part of the opener when you "Look Inside": Random Placement (on Amazon). I found Bates's prose fluid, the pacing appropriately swift.
Who would particularly enjoy this novel?
Personally, I rarely read romances, and this novel seems fundamentally of that genre, yet I enjoyed this one. It's a true page-turner, simply flies along. And, even though most of the main characters are adults, it's definitely PG-rated and so could be read by adolescents and adults alike. Anyone who enjoys vivid descriptions of some of the world's great cities - in other words, anyone who loves to (armchair) travel - would likely devour this romantic mystery.
How can I get my hands on a copy?
Random Placement is available in Kindle form only, but those Kindle-less souls (like me) who do have computers or tablets can simply download the Kindle app., which worked well on my iPad. Get Random Placement via this link (no, I am not an Amazon affiliate). At $2.99 it's a bargain perfect to while away the hours on your next plane flight or to cheer you on one of those 2 a.m. wake-ups.
My ActionReader action: I did some research on Hyderabad/Andra Pradesh, and hereby vow to include at least two works (probably short stories) by authors from India in my curriculum next year. And should Ms. McFerrin Bates produce another novel, I'll be sure to pick it up!
My thanks to the author, who read my earlier post on the much grittier recent release Narcopolis by Jeet Thayil, and asked if I might be interested in sampling her first novel. I was, and I'm happy that I did.