Verdict: The four queens of THE RUMMY CLUB are engaging enough to follow to the end of the somewhat predictable and erratically paced plot.
In her late thirties, Divya Kapoor runs into one of her successful friends, Priya, whom she’d been close with at the prestigious boarding school she’d attended in India. Priya promptly draws a reluctant Divya back into the quartet that formed when the girls were sophomores. The four women share and, at times, hide their troubles and joys after beginning a weekly rummy night.
Make no mistake; author Anoop Ahuja Judge can write. She serves up descriptions that can make the walls between the reader and her imagined world disappear:
“Our eyes skitter away from each other before they chance any contact.
Each atom of air is tense, resists inhalation. The silences are as thick
as the dust on dead dreams.”
Her four main characters are compelling, but the switch from Divya as a first person narrator to chapters from the other three characters’ points of view in third person is a little confusing. This problem is reinforced by the fact that the first chapters are written as if by Divya, the next short chapter by the briefly introduced Mini, and then returns to Divya. Time also shifts rapidly through this first section, compounding the confusion. Once the narrative settles into a round robin among the four main characters, it becomes less distracting.
Also, the back cover exposes almost all the major plot points, exposing at a minimum almost half the book, and arguably much more. Readers who dislike spoilers will want to avoid reading the summary. Some points are belabored; others covered at breakneck speed. More development of “the old days” and fewer summaries of thought processes would go a long way toward evening the pace of this essentially engaging story.
Minor characters occasionally upstage the main players: Divya’s mother and her possibly ADHD elementary school student jump off the page. The overarching theme intrigues the reader: how much of one’s culture to keep, and what to adopt in a new homeland?
Judge has a great deal of talent, and one to watch as she hones her storytelling skills.
The four queens of THE RUMMY CLUB are engaging enough to follow to the end of the somewhat predictable and erratically paced plot.
Reviewed by Jodi McMaster for Indie Reader