A Distant Heart is set in contemporary Mumbai, which Dev has said makes this possibly her least cultural book. There are no weddings, and thus none of the traditional celebrations, customs, and cooking we see in her other books, which are usually set in the U.S. This is a coming of age story; a story about familial love, romantic love, friendship, sacrifice, grief, and courage.
Why you’ll like this author
When you read a Sonali Dev book, you know how it will end. You know that you’ll go on a journey with the main characters, who will have earned their ending. I enjoy Dev’s wit, her generosity, and her refusal to be anything other who she is, writing the stories only she can. I like that her books can’t be easily classified. I use a mix of terms to describe them: “Bollywood-style,” humorous, human. They are love stories that do not shy away from issues, yet they don’t leave you without hope. They make me consider things in a new way. I don’t regret the time I spend reading them.
I became a fan of Sonali Dev after seeing her on a panel about women’s fiction. She is funny, intelligent, a reader, and a fan. She inspired me to read more diversely and to consider what makes a book “discussable.” She’s an excellent source of reading suggestions, whether it’s from an article she wrote for NPR about representation in romance or a podcast interview about her books.