Genre: Contemporary fiction, Thriller
Interesting rating: Very
Star rating: 4½ out of 5 stars
Would I recommend it? Yes
What’s the book about?
Families from different cultures move into the new Azalea Heights neigbourhood, hoping to start afresh. Like all of us, each family and by extension each character, has their own complicated back story. There’s single mum/divorcee Naina, restaurant owner Rohan, Pakistani American Altaf, and Iraq veteran Gerard. When 22 kids from Winston Elementary School in the neighbourhood are held hostage, things take an interesting turn.
I found all characters interesting, from adults to teenagers and children. The author succeeded in keeping the characters intriguing through their backstories and expertly revealing more, bit by bit. I particularly enjoyed the descriptive language. Things like prejudice against race and religion are sobering and show how quick we as human beings can be to judge. In addition to the likeable characters, I enjoyed the mystery and how everything came together to make for an engrossing read.
Who will like Azalea Heights?
From the blurb: Fans of Little Fires Everywhere (by Celeste Ng), An American Marriage (by Tayari Jones), and There There (by Tommy Orange) will enjoy this riveting tale of intercultural conflict in these unsettling times when prejudices have come to be accepted as normal.
To sum up
It’s a great read. The only reason I took a little while longer to finish it, is because of challenges I faced in my personal life. Thank you to the author Rajat Narula and his publishing team for sending me an electronic advance copy in exchange for an honest review. 4½ out of 5 stars.