Reviewed by Carol Hoyer for Reader Views (3/17)
“Harp” by Nidhi Dalmia takes readers on a journey with three individuals who are trying to find their passion and niche in life. The setting for the story takes place throughout Europe, India, and the United States.
Ashok, son of a successful dairy produce business continually asks himself, “Is this all there is?” He has a true passion for working in his father’s business, yet at the same time yearns to experience more of the world. His father and he have set high standards for themselves and nothing else will be accepted. Regardless of the given situation, he jumps in with gusto, which sometimes does not turn out not too well for him.
Given the chance to learn more about development of dairy products, Ashok has the opportunity to travel to Finland, England, and France on internships. As he travels from country to country, he is amazed at all they have to offer, gets distracted by the women he meets, and almost loses his internship.
While in Warsaw, Ashok meets Lauren, a talented musician and vocalist. Lauren, like Ashok, has her passions, yet yearns for more in her life, however she is not willing to leave her homeland to experience more. Both fall hard for each other, but are not willing to make the big commitment and lose track of each other over time. Lauren then falls for Carlo, a “wanna be” successful Italian who is nothing more than a con man. Yet he bars no holds to get her into his bed.
“Harp’ by Nidhi Dalmia is an average read with the typical “coming of age” theme. Parts of the book seem to go on forever, and stall the reading. Given that Ashok is very fond of the popular music of the time, the author puts bits and pieces of lyrics throughout the book, which I found quite distracting. As this is the author’s first novel, he does a good job in trying to get his thoughts across. Readers will certainly see his experience of theater, movies, and music in the tone of his writing.