Soon after upending her life to accompany her boyfriend Ryan to the Arctic, Maya realises it’s not all Northern Lights and husky sleigh rides. Instead, she’s facing sub-zero temperatures, 24-hour darkness, crippling anxiety – and a distant boyfriend as a result.
In her loneliest moment, Maya opens her late mother’s recipe book and cooks Indian food for the first time. Through this, her confidence unexpectedly grows – she makes friends, secures a job as a chef, and life in the Arctic no longer freezes her with fear.
But there’s a cost: the aromatic cuisine rekindles memories of her enigmatic mother and her childhood in Bangalore. Can Maya face the past and forge a future for herself in this new town? After all, there’s now high demand for a Curry Club in the Arctic, and just one person with the know-how to run it…
The Artic Curry Club is definitely not the light, cosy romantic comedy I had been expecting. There is a little bit of romance in there but the story focuses mainly on Maya and her mental health issues and there is a lot more depth to the story than we are led to believe. The author addresses some serious topics which are quite hard hitting at times, however this is balanced out with some uplifting moments and the author’s easy writing style ensured the subject matter did not become too overwhelming. The setting is unique and learning about life in the Artic is really interesting. This is an excruciatingly cold, remote and unforgiving landscape but beautifully described by the author as were the chapters set in Bangalore. The exploration of Maya’s mother’s handwritten recipe book is wonderful, reading about the recipes, ingredients and some of the food Maya conjured up are mouthwatering. I could almost smell the gorgeous aromatic spices and I immediately craved some spicy dishes.
The characters are memorable, I loved the little community at the End of the Road Cabins and the friendship bond Maya formed with Rita, Mikkel and Adam. Maya’s character development is brilliant, at the beginning she comes across as a nervous, anxious character with low self-esteem but by the end of the book she is strong, independent and learning to control her anxiety issues.
A lot of research had gone into this novel, both in the Artic setting and the topics addressed. It is well written and enjoyable, but not quite the light-hearted romance I had anticipated.
Publication Date (UK): 9 December 2021
Page Count: 384
Genre: Women’s Fiction
Thank you to the publisher for the gifted advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.
Please do not hesitate to comment below if you liked my review or have any comments about this book 😊