100 Shades of White


Status: Read from May 26 to June 01, 2016
Format: Paperback
Pages: 304
My rating: 5star/5
Author: Preethi Nair

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A magical mixture of East meets West, and mothers in conflict with daughters – for anyone who enjoyed ‘Bend it like Beckham’ but prefers food to football…

There’s East. There’s West. And then there’s Maya…

Maya, her mother Nalini, and her brother Satchin have left a carefree life in India to come to England. But when Maya’s father disappears, leaving only deceit and debt behind, they are left to fend for themselves in a strange, damp land.

Maya, though, doesn’t know of her father’s betrayal. Nalini, determined to preserve her children’s pride, tells them that their father died in an accident and, as their struggle to make a life begins, whole realities are built on this lie. While Nalini cooks exotic pickles which enchant all who eat them, Maya begins to adapt to her new home – the unfamiliar food, the language, the music – and then to explore and make bold plans, plans that her mother does not understand.

But even a white lie cannot remain hidden forever – and when the truth resurfaces, it changes everything…


This book was a nice experience for me. I read this book as a part of travelling readathon that’s happening on Instagram among few of us Indians. When the readathon started and this was the book to be circulated, I went ahead and read the synopsis on goodreads. It was a very filmy types and I had the feeling that the story is predictable.

Yes the story was predictable but then there was more to the story. The Indian spices playing an integral part in the story. The story is narrated by two point of views, Nalini and Maya. The flashbacks revolve around Ammamma and the present revolves around Nalini and Maya, and their lives interwoven by the aroma of spices.

The story can be depicted by the synopsis, so it is not required to brief here. What I liked is, this book brought back so many vivid memories and the moments which I had lived. I think this is one of the reasons that I liked this book so much.

This book tells, no one is perfect here. We always try to become a perfect daughter, perfect mother, a perfect person without any flaws but what we forget is to stay human. That is what is required and people who love and care for us will always love us with our flaws. It tell us to let go of things and accept what it is. And forgive and move ahead. This also tells us, that there exists people who are not part of our family, are not our relatives or friends, but they are the ones who become the most integral part of our life.

There are two questions that remained unanswered:

  • I didn’t get the motive behind Raul’s action. Why did he even met Maya and kept contact with her and more importantly mentioned his exact address in the letters to her, when he didn’t benefit anything from her?
  • Who was the girl with Suri, whom Maya saw from her rear view mirror of her car?

This book has a happily ever after ending (I know it is like Bollywood movies), and that’s what I like.

About the Author:


Preethi Nair worked as a management consultant but gave it up to follow her dream and write her first book, Gypsy Masala. Having been rejected by a number of publishers, she set up her own publishing company and PR agency to publish and promote the book. Working under the alias of Pru Menon, Preethi managed to gain substantial coverage and after two years of a roller coaster journey, she managed to sign a three-book deal with HarperCollins. She won the Asian Woman of Achievement award for her endeavours and “Pru” was also short listed as Publicist of the Year for the PPC awards.”

Pru/I didn’t win, thank God, as it would have been difficult to thank the various parts of myself: author, marketing, PR, editorial, sales who it had been a pleasure to work with. Anyway back to the story…

100 Shades of White was bought by the BBC for a television adaptation. The Colour of Love, a fictionalised account of this journey, was released with a reissue of Gypsy Masala. Preethi writes for a number of broadsheets, is an ambassador for the Prince’s Trust and is MD of Kiss the Frog, a company that takes storytelling into organisations. She is also on the faculty at London Business School, Cranfield University and the FT.



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