By Eleni N. Gage
St Martin’s Press, $25.99, 343 pages
Have you ever felt torn between two different worlds? In this novel, the main character struggles to find her own identity and happiness, while also considering her family’s cultural heritage that is just as important to her.
Maya lives in New York City and works as a resident psychiatric doctor. With a boyfriend and promising new career, everything is going great until her grandmother’s death in India flips her safe and orderly life on its head. Even though she’s an educated, logical young American woman, rumor of a curse placed on the family causes her to rethink everything about her life. When bad things start happening to her parents and siblings, she feels pulled back toward the culture of her ancestors and desperately seeks to end this curse she doesn’t even fully believe in. Her quest for answers takes her across the sea to India, where she struggles to deal with difficult yet loving family, heartbreaks, culture clashes, and a need for personal fulfillment.
Other Waters effectively tackles universal themes and portrays women’s struggles, but the pacing of the story makes it a long, cumbersome read. With the focus on philosophical musings and not on plot movement, it was difficult to find the enthusiasm to finish. For those readers that prefer a bit more excitement in their novels, steer clear of this one.
Reviewed by Aimee Rasmussen