Reeva Mehta is thriving . Consumed in her career as one of London’s top divorce lawyers, she doesn’t bat an eyelid when her mum calls to tell her that her dad is dead. Because he’s been dead since she was five… hasn’t he?
If finding out her dad was alive – until last week – wasn’t bad enough, his last request was for his daughters to spend fourteen days in mourning at his house. Which means Reeva must spend a fortnight stuck with the people who betrayed her when she needed them the most – her sisters.
Navigating her absent Bollywood megastar mother, newly dead father and scheming sisters with only a temperamental boyfriend – and even more temperamental cat – by her side, it’s no wonder Reeva’s hair is falling out. Could confronting the truth help the Mehtas put aside their differences, or will attending a funeral be the death of this family?
I Wish We Weren’t Related is a sweet, often humorous read about family dynamics and navigating challenging circumstances. Reeva, a 34-year-old woman, is estranged from her sisters due to a terrible event years ago that one of her sisters put her through. However, her world is turned upside down when her mother reveals a shocking secret – their father, whom Reeva believed had died when she was a child, has actually passed away just now! As if that weren’t enough, Reeva is obligated to spend 14 days mourning in her father’s house alongside her sisters.
What I particularly enjoyed about this book is Reeva’s strong character, her commitment to her career, and her independence. She is relatable and mostly likeable, although there were moments when she did get on my nerves. Unfortunately, the people surrounding her don’t do much to improve the situation! The guy she is seeing appears distant and rather unhelpful, while her sisters, though delivering some entertaining and humorous lines, treat Reeva poorly and prove to be toxic influences. In my opinion, Reeva shouldn’t have to tolerate their behaviour, regardless of their family ties.
The story itself is somewhat predictable, but the mystery surrounding why their parents pretended their father had died years ago kept me engaged throughout. Some parts felt a bit far-fetched and I think it could have been cut down by about 100 pages, but the book had plenty of heartwarming and entertaining moments. It was refreshing to have a setting outside of London and to explore different cultures. Additionally, the representation of alopecia was an interesting and welcome aspect.
Personally, I felt Reeva was too forgiving in many instances, but the ending will likely be a satisfying resolution for those who appreciate neatly wrapped-up conclusions. Overall, I found the book to be a pleasant read, but it didn’t strike me as anything particularly extraordinary.
My rating: 3/5
Many thanks to the publisher for providing a copy of this book on which I chose to write an honest review.