Thank you to Avon Books for my gifts including a proof copy of The Arctic Curry Club by Dani Redd. I’m sharing a mini review today.
Soon after upending her life to accompany her boyfriend Ryan to the Arctic, Maya realises it’s not all Northern Lights and husky sleigh rides. Instead, she’s facing sub-zero temperatures, 24-hour darkness, crippling anxiety – and a distant boyfriend as a result.
In her loneliest moment, Maya opens her late mother’s recipe book and cooks Indian food for the first time. Through this, her confidence unexpectedly grows – she makes friends, secures a job as a chef, and life in the Arctic no longer freezes her with fear.
But there’s a cost: the aromatic cuisine rekindles memories of her enigmatic mother and her childhood in Bangalore. Can Maya face the past and forge a future for herself in this new town? After all, there’s now high demand for a Curry Club in the Arctic, and just one person with the know-how to run it…
A tender and uplifting story about family, community, and finding where you truly belong – guaranteed to warm your heart despite the icy setting!
Apologies to Dani Redd and Avon Books for the delay in sharing my review.
I read The Arctic Curry Club before Christmas and enjoyed my virtual visits to Bangalore and Longyearbyen. Maya has made a brave decision to follow her partner Ryan to a cold, dark town near the Arctic. Her initial hopes are dashed by the 24 hours darkness and extortionate food prices – Maya loves to cook.
Maya’s life undergoes many changes in a short space of time, as Ryan turns out to be unreliable, her dad reveals some secrets and she starts to have flashbacks about her mum, who died when she was young, when she tries cooking some of her mum’s recipes.
This is a well written debut book, tackling a number of issues in the story. Maya needs to reduce her anxiety levels, to find her true purpose in life and starting to cook for Mikkel and Adam helps her make new friends and find a passion for cooking. I enjoyed how the story evolved as Maya dealt with her past, her present and her future, whilst trying out the recipes from her mum’s recipe book.
As the title of the book suggests, Maya creates her own Arctic Curry Club, enabling people to get together and enjoy tasty food. Can this lead to a future career in Longyearbyen or will Maya head back to the UK or out to Bangalore? Will she find out what really happened to her mum?
This is a non spoiler review so you will need to read the book to find out the answers to my questions. A word of warning – you will find yourself feeling hungry when reading this book as Maya’s recipes tempt you. I’m happy to recommend the book and I’m looking forward to reading more by Dani in the future.
Dani Redd is the debut author of The Arctic Curry Club, which was longlisted for the Lucy Cavendish Prize. She has an MA and PhD in Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia. This involved research trips to some of Europe’s remoter islands, including Spitsbergen, in the Arctic Circle. After this, she spent two years living in India. She now lives in Norwich with her husband, and is working as a food editor while writing that tricky second novel.