Book Reviews, BookChatter, Books, Fiction, Mothers, Travel tales

Book Review : Excess Baggage #BookChatter

Hey dear readers! I’ve participated in the #TBRChallenge with Blogchatter and set a goal of reading 20 books in 2021. (Although I think I can certainly do more!) Glad that #BookChatter, as always, is making sure that I add some good titles to my list. Today I’m reviewing Excess Baggage by Richa S. Mukherjee, a fun travelogue of a mother-daughter duo.

excess baggage_avibrantpalette

About the book

Excess Baggage introduces us to Anviksha Punjabi, a young girl whose not-so-perfect life is the perfect recipe for a potboiler. She’s twice divorced, rubs her boss and colleagues the wrong way and has no friends or a place to live. Her mother Smita and her home, although providing food, shelter and comfort, are both extremely invasive. There’s a continuous string of Aunties at her place who chomp on a never-ending supply of Sindhi delicacies and heartily exchange gossip. They’re also dedicated customers of Smita’s thriving boutique business. Anviksha couldn’t care less about any of it.

Anviksha watches Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara and has an epiphany that a solo trip would give her a brilliant chance to introspect her life and decisions. While her mind is happily enveloped in a cocoon of happy hormones Smita punctures it by announcing that she will join her. Anviksha, after consistently failing to convince her otherwise, finally gives in. Thus starts an eventful journey that takes this mother-daughter jodi to London, a place and its people, both puzzling yet welcoming.

My thoughts

Excess Baggage is an apt title for this book, literally and figuratively. Many of us carry unheeded emotional baggage that digresses and distracts the way we lead our lives. Anviksha’s childhood issues of abandonment and loneliness unjustly cloud her perception of Smita. Smita is a proud Sindhi, gregarious and outgoing, but unable to breach the invisible wall her daughter has created around herself. A headstrong daughter and a helplessly caring mother is a combination we can find in any household around the world.

What sets this story apart is a generous sprinkling of humour and a hands-on trip to touristy London. Richa’s writing creates an imagery that makes you feel a part of it. There’s also a British dog Bhindi who Smita wants to marry off, her sweet cousin Preeti in a hidden live-in relationship and some unexpected crazy fun experiences. Culture shock hits hard but our adventurous girls take it with a pinch of salt.

I’ve read Richa’s Kanpur Khoofiya Pvt. Ltd and like the way she handles dramatic situations with practiced ease. She has captured the emotions of a harried mother and a stubborn daughter delicately while respecting their individual challenges. Her writing is crisp and has gone up several notches since her last book. Thanks to her, more youngsters would know what an anthropologist is now!

A couple of things didn’t sit right with me though. I wasn’t totally convinced of the burning need to take this trip. They could’ve achieved this new-found bonding back home as well. Nothing was stopping them. Also, I found a couple of printing/editing mistakes which hopefully will be corrected in the next print.

These are tiny matters considering the roller-coaster ride Excess Baggage takes us on! Gift it to your mother or, better still, take her on an exclusive trip and earn some brownie points. She will love you more. 🙂

My rating : **** 4/5 stars

Check out my book review for Excess Baggage on Amazon too.

About the author

Richa S. Mukherjee is a poet, ex-journalist and a known name in advertising. She has published a collection of poems and two books; I didn’t Expect To Be Expecting and Kanpur Khoofiya Pvt. Ltd. Excess Baggage is her third. She is a blogger, travel writer and regularly contributes to several online platforms. She is a Sheroes Champ and Blogchatter mentor too.

Book Details

Language : English

Genre : Fiction

Available in : Paperback and Kindle Edition

16 thoughts on “Book Review : Excess Baggage #BookChatter

  1. Thanks for the review. I also enjoy reading light fiction and this seems to fit the bill quite well! I like the plot of the mum daughter travel.

  2. I have read some really interesting reviews of this book and to be honest, I am keen on picking this up soon for my next read 🙂

  3. I have been hearing and reading so much about this book that now I have to get one for myself. This book sounds really interesting and a fun read. Thanks Varsha for such a honest and to the point review.

  4. I had heard a lot about Richa’s work before but never get a chance to read any of her book so far. the plot of this book, sounds really interesting to me. thanks Varsha for sharing your honest review. will try to read this book for sure.

  5. i find mother daughter stories to be interesting and entertaining. this book too sounds like a good read and a perfect gift for mom, until, we too can take a trip! good suggestion V 🙂

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