I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.A Change of Heart by Sonali Dev
Series: Bollywood #3
Published by Kensington on September 27th 2016
Superlative Journey About Loss, Recovery and Finding Love Again
“They found nothing that could be construed as evidence. But they had found something else. Something you found when you traveled impossibly difficult paths with someone.”
FINAL DECISION: One of the most amazing books I have ever read, this is an intense story of death, survival and rebirth. Beautiful, lyrical, painful, redeeming. I couldn’t turn away from this book despite the raw emotion because the raw emotion went to the pure humanity in the book. Loved the characters, loved the story, loved it!
THE STORY: Dr. Nikhil Joshi is devastated after the murder of his wife. He has abandoned everything that he loves and is living and working on a cruise ship drunk most of the time. One day he meets a woman who claims to have received his wife’s heart in a transplant. Even more incredible, Jess Koirala claims that Nic’s wife has been communicating to her wanting Nic to find those ultimately responsible for her death. Nic’s wife, Jen, was investigating a ring of organ thieves when she was murdered to prevent exposure. Jess has come to Nic because she needs him to discover the truth and set herself free.
OPINION: This book ripped me open and left my insides exposed. Going deep into the emotional life of these characters, that is exactly the type of book I love.
“It was a tearing up of all that he was and of putting it all together again.”
Nic is a man who had it all. He had a successful and fulfilling career he loved. He had found the woman who was his match. They had a baby on the way. Then everything collapses on him when she was murdered. Nic didn’t know how to go on living. Two years later, he is still living in a type of stasis where he exists but does not truly live.
“Sweetness of hope and leftover pain.”
Jess is a survivor. I don’t want to give the secrets of the book away as Jess’s true story is revealed slowly, but readers who are sensitive might take a look at the Acknowledgements at the beginning if they have concerns. I loved that she has been through so much and survived and thus teaches and shows Nic how to move past his pain and grief.
I also loved that Nic gives Jess tenderness and caring that she has been missing for so long. But one of the best parts of this book is how the pain these two experience is not swiftly resolved and carried away. These two hurt one another, bring out one another’s pain and somehow find a way for them both to begin to live again.
“He couldn’t not lay down with her, couldn’t not tuck her against him, couldn’t not wrap his body around her and close his eyes against her hair. And hold her and hold her. Until she drifted away in his arms. Fell out of her pain and into sleep. It was then that he left himself drift away too. His sleep wrapped around hers. Their joint collapse into a nothingness so absolute the morning light had to be rebirth.”
This book is all about rebirth. The pain, the shedding of the past, of learning to live with the impossible. The darkness and pain in this book allows the morning that comes after to be beautiful.
This book just tore me open. I loved it even as I sometimes felt I wanted to turn away from Nic and Jess’s pain. But ultimately, that pain and sadness turned into something lovely and life affirming. We can survive the worst of humanity. There is always hope and joy and the possibility of love.
Many times I enjoy a dark, pain-filled book but want to turn to something else after having my heart ripped out. Not this book. This one I wanted to immediately read again. It will certainly go on my keeper shelf.
WORTH MENTIONING: I hope that we hear more about Rahul and Kimi. I expect from the progression of this book, I expect to know much more about them. I an already intrigued.
CONNECTED BOOKS: A CHANGE OF HEART is a standalone although there are appearances from characters from other Dev books. I consider the books as taking place in the same world rather than a series although I will mark it as the third book in the Bollywood series.
STAR RATING: I give this book 5 stars.