Jana Bibi's Excellent Fortunes Summary and Reviews

Jana Bibi's Excellent Fortunes

A Novel

by Betsy Woodman

Jana Bibi's Excellent Fortunes by Betsy Woodman X
Jana Bibi's Excellent Fortunes by Betsy Woodman
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  • Published Jul 2012
    336 pages
    Genre: Literary Fiction

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Book Summary

Janet Laird's life changed the day she inherited her grandfather's house in a faraway Indian hill station. Ignoring her son's arguments to come grow old in their family castle in Scotland, she moves with her chatty parrot, Mr. Ganguly and her loyal housekeeper, Mary, to Hamara Nagar, where local merchants are philosophers, the chief of police is a tyrant, and a bagpipe-playing Gurkha keeps the wild monkeys at bay. Settling in, Jana Bibi (as she comes to be known) meets her colorful local neighbors - Feroze Ali Khan of Royal Tailors, who struggles with his business and family, V.K. Ramachandran, whose Treasure Emporium is bursting at the seams with objects of unknown provenance, and Rambir, editor of the local newspaper, who burns the midnight oil at his printing press. When word gets out that the town is in danger of being drowned by a government dam, Jana is enlisted to help put it on the map. Hoping to attract tourists with promises of good things to come, she stacks her deck of cards, readies her fine-feathered assistant - and Jana Bibi's Excellent Fortunes is born.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Good-humored, soft-centered, nostalgic armchair tourism." - Kirkus Reviews

"Starred Review. With its appealing and somewhat exotic setting, and a colorful cast of engaging characters, from the round and cheerful owner of Ramachandram's Treasure Emporium to the corrupt village police officer, this is a stellar debut bound to charm fans of Alexander McCall Smith, especially his stand-alone La's Orchestra Saves the World (2009)." - Booklist

"Woodman has an ear for spoken language and firsthand experience living in India, but her plot line falls flat." - Publishers Weekly

This information about Jana Bibi's Excellent Fortunes was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. Publication information is for the USA, and (unless stated otherwise) represents the first print edition. The reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that they do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, send us a message with the mainstream reviews that you would like to see added.

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Author Information

Betsy Woodman

Betsy Woodman spent ten childhood years in India; studied in France, Zambia, and the United States; and now lives in her native New Hampshire. She has contributed nonfiction pieces and several hundred book reviews to various publications, and was a writer and editor for the award-winning documentary series Experiencing War, produced for the Library of Congress and aired on Public Radio International. Visit her online at www.betsywoodman.com.

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