The Arctic Curry Club sounded like it was going to be a good feeling book about a women finding herself as she learned about her childhood with her parents in India. I honestly wasn’t expecting how deep it got and what issues it explored. There was alot of issues examined throughout the book and honestly it became a bit much. The main character has been through alot in her life and until she sorts it out she is never going to be able to heal.
Maya moves to the Arctic circle with her adventurous boyfriend Ryan. Ryan has been offered a grand research opportunity and she is trying her best to be supportive. Except living in the Arctic is nothing like she expected. It is so much colder and darker then she anticipated. She also finds herself alone more often than not with Ryan working and researching. This causes her mind to start racing and her anxiety into overdrive.
When Ryan does the unthinkable and betrays her, Maya finds herself alone and a little bit scared. She makes her way to a nearby camping village where she finds lodging and a potential group of friends. This is a very character driven story. Maya discovers who she is and that she has a strength inside of her that will help her move forward. She needs this inner strength as she begins recalling suppressed memories from her childhood.
Maya and her parents lived in India when she was younger and then she and her father moved to London. Growing up, she did not any memories with her mother. There was no explanation to be found for this except perhaps the tragic loss of her mother. When Maya starts learning and cooking her mother’s recipes things start coming back to her. The imagery and visualization of all of this was beautiful. I loved the descriptions of the food and creating the recipes. There was such a strong connection between Maya and these recipes. They really did help her remember all the good and of her childhood.
The recipe also helped Maya connect with her new community with them, she creates a found family ~ a beautifully messy found family. I really enjoyed Maya’s dynamic with each of these characters. She also finds a new layer to her dynamic with her father too. I enjoyed this new layer but, all of the secrets were a bit much.
The Artic Curry Club is a very well researched story. I felt that the author Dani Reed was really familiar with the areas which she was describing. This is not a light hearted book. There are light hearted moments but the majority of the moments are moments that tackle grief, betrayal, mental health, found family, and learning how to grow from all of these experiences. It was not exactly what I was expecting from the premise. I did however mostly enjoy this story and was rooting for Maya the whole way through.
Rating: 4 Stars