Cover Image: The Kosher Delhi

The Kosher Delhi

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

This book kind of has everything I would go for: early 90’s setting, working in restaurants, riot grrrls, great music, coming of age, activism, and my home for longer than any other (NYC), and working in restaurants in NYC... I also found the writing style to be more memoir than fictional narrative, which often made me wonder if this was a true story or not, something that I kind of liked. I felt like I could hear Vik’s voice telling the story in my ear.

Set in the early to mid-1990’s in England and then NYC, The Kosher Delhi is the story of Vik and Yvonne: their relationship, their aspirations, their successes, and their failures, in life and with each other. Vik is an aspiring chef of Jewish and Indian descent, and Yvonne is an outspoken Scottish woman with a drive to fix injustice in the world. Vik lands a pretty sweet job in a trendy London restaurant, where he is forced to work under constant racist aggressions every day, something that he has had to deal with most of his life. Yvonne joins a band with moderate success, but after a particularly violent attack on Vik the couple ends up moving to NYC where Yvonne has a chance to further her career. In NYC Vik ends up with the chance of a lifetime to head his own kitchen.

I loved Vik. He’s such a great character and it’s easy to imagine him as you read through the book, living his life with him, discovering his craft, and rooting for him all the way. Unfortunately I didn’t like Yvonne at all, and I really wanted to because I related to a lot of her anger and actions. I was disappointed in how her character turned out, her actions too predictable and selfish. For such a strong, outspoken female character her continuous dependence on the male gaze and hand was troublesome to me. I would have loved to have seen her storyline a little less male-focused. But in the end she was a good addition to Vik’s character, and as a couple they worked.

Having lived and worked on the LES in NYC for years, and having a long term partner who is a line cook, I related to a lot of the back and front of house goings on in the novel. There was a glaring lack of Mexican line cooks, but I forgive the author that for the diversity of the cast in Vik’s restaurant. I liked that the author was able to bring up some very important topics such as racism, homophobia and gun control (but wished the mental illness aspect had been left out - it’s too frequently used as an excuse for mass murder), and I loved all of the references to 90’s culture (riot grrrl for life!). The descriptions of food were amazing, as were the outfits Yvonne wore - she totally fit the part!

This is a 3.5 rounded up to a 4 for me, rounded up as I read it in less than 24 hours because I couldn’t put it down! I think I should add a trigger warning for some graphic violent scenes that I wasn’t expecting in the novel, just because they came as a shock to me. The violence isn’t gratuitous though and I think it adds depth to the novel - I can’t say any more without adding spoilers! Also – the title is brilliant.

Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the advance copy of this novel in exchange for an unbiased review.
Was this review helpful?
Very easy to read and really engaging, would definitely recommend. The fact it included characters from different backgrounds was also a plus.
Was this review helpful?
The Kosher Delhi is an engaging, fun, but emotional read. The prose was a little stiff for my liking, but the imagery is fantastic, particularly when it comes to describing the food. Would recommend; even if you think this isn't up your typical alley, let yourself be surprised.
Was this review helpful?
This novel is one that seems just so refreshing, when you enter that deli, you don't need a drink to go with it. The words and story is enough!

It has the flavour of Slumdog Millionaire and Lion - someone triumphing and changing despite all the obstacles in the way. It's certainly a meeting of opposites Vik is Jewish/Indian and Yvonne is Scottish. This is their story as they move cities and places together with Yvonne fighting for the cause and Vik wanting to become a chef. They face racism and abuse and Vik is sadly used to it so he says nothing. But who was it said that 'evil will flourish when the good do nothing.' Vik is faced to change this way of thinking and that's when things get interesting and rather bittersweet.

Their relationships is a strange but nice one and it's fascinating to see two such different characters on their own and joint journey. The 1990s shine through with many references of food, music and politics, but it';s the everyday memories, a time when things seemed better, that make you smile as you read. The story of racism and struggle seemed a lot more real when they were in the UK but once they get to New York, the story changes somewhat. Nothing too severe but it felt like a different book towards the end.

There's lots to enjoy here but it felt too busy and a little preachy? They would have a got a smack around the legs from me for all the swearing that went on as well for jolting me out of the story. A good story however and one to enjoy and realise just what some people have to go through and how determination and grit are great travel companions
Was this review helpful?
When you don't have a car for a month due to a predatory car insurance industry, you can get a LOT of reading done!!			
			
I received a temporary digital Advance Reader Copy of this book from #NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.  			
			
From the publisher, as I do not repeat the contents or story of books in reviews, I let them do it as they do it better than I do 😸.			

"If you ask me now if it was all worth it, would I do it all again, then I know I am supposed to say, ‘Yes! I wouldn’t change a thing.’ I’m just not sure that’s true." Vik is a 20-year-old English boy of Jewish/Indian mixed heritage who meets Yvonne, a Scottish activist and hedonist who strives vehemently for social justice. Set in the early 1990s, the story follows Vik and Yvonne from Leeds to London to New York, tracking their journey and relationship: Vik’s culinary experiences of working in restaurant kitchens; Yvonne’s political ventures in the music scene; their exposure to racism and homophobia; and the pressures on their relationship. 

As their relationship becomes strained, Vik is also increasingly exposed to bigotry and homophobia, with more violent and fatal outcomes. He reaches a point when he has to decide if he is going to stand up for what he believes in. 

This was a cleverly titled book that I enjoyed. Unfortunately, almost 30 years later, homophobia and the caste system is still going strong in India and many other parts of the world. The characters are well written and the story enjoyable to read and I now want Indian food for lunch. (I find it interesting to learn that in Hinduism, domestic pork meat is forbidden as it is mostly fed on wastage & filth and since Jews do not eat pork both religions in India would be living off chicken and fish as cows are sacred in India and not sold as food). The early 90s resonated for me as I graduated uni in 1990 and remember those days well.
			
As always, I try to find a reason to not rate with stars as I love emojis (outside of their incessant use by "Social Influencer Millennials" on Instagram and Twitter) so let's give it 🐘🐘🐘🐘
Was this review helpful?
This book ticked a lot of boxes for me: an interracial Jewish main character, restaurant life, England, the 1990s. Luckily these disparate themes all came together in one very enjoyable book. I thought the story and the interpersonal relationships were well-written and engaging. Despite some of the topic matter, it didn't veer into the maudlin.
Was this review helpful?
The Kosher Delhi by Ivan Wainewright tells the story of Vic, an aspiring chef with Jewish and Indian roots. He wants to work in a kitchen and blend the two parts of his identity into delicious dishes. As he works on his craft, he faces racism, bigots, and abuse. He also dates a woman named Yvonne, a Scottish spitfire, who causes trouble everywhere she goes. 

I liked a good portion of this book, but at a certain point, something about the voice and narration fell apart. It started to feel like "this happened, and then this happened, and then this happened" with very little reflection from Vic's inner monologue. While seeing Vic overcome challenges and perfect his craft was interesting, his relationship with Yvonne fell into cliches and less interesting character choices. 

I think this is a good debut novel, and I hope Ivan writes more. 

Thanks to RedDoor Publishing and NetGalley for the free e-ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
This is an era and "set" with which I have some familiarity and in great part this was an enjoable tale about Briutains recent past. The darkness of the racism here perhaps foreshadows our national shift to the right over the past ten years. the writing isn't flawless, but the characterisation is good and the book is definitely a finisher. Looking forward to reading more from this talented new author.
Was this review helpful?
I was attracted to this book because of its unusual title, namely, the "kosher" part and, the play on the word "Delhi". As it turns out, the story is about so much more then a deli. It follows Yvonne, a Scottish want to be rockstar, and her beau, Vic, an aspiring chef, with Jewish Indian roots. While Vic has always been subject to a certain degree of discrimination because of his heritage, (and skin colour), he always chose to ignore the taunts as a way to keep the peace. Yvonne, from the outset, never condoned Vic's behaviour, and always encouraged Vic to stand up for his rights.  In London, Vic becomes the subject of a racist attack that will change his life forever. Despite this setback,  Vic still harbours his dream to be a chef, and he follows Yvonne to NYC. Their relationship begins to develop cracks, as each of their careers develop, and they are exposed to the nastiness of the real world, including. homophobia, sexism, and bigotry. But, there are also many moments of tenderness and heroism, that help keep your faith in mankind. You'll have to read the book to discover what happens to Yvonne and Vic.

I really enjoyed reading #thekosherdelhi, Ivan Waineright's debut novel Thank you #netgalley for the early digital copy. 5 stars!
Was this review helpful?
Great read. The author wrote a story that was interesting and moved at a pace that kept me engaged. The characters were easy to invest in.
Was this review helpful?
Ivan Wainwright has written a fabulous debut novel. Vic is a young man growing up in Leeds whose life will never be the same again once he meets Yvonne. The two are very different; not only their backgrounds, but their personalities and whole values in life. 
Vic’s father is Jewish from London and mother is Indian. Yvonne is white and from Inverness.  Vic prefers to keep his head down and have an easy life, Yvonne thinks that everything should be challenged and believes in rights for all.  What will happen to Vic and Yvonne? How will they reconcile their differences? 
This book is a real trip down memory lane for those of us who remember the early 90s.
I absolutely adored the character of Vic and travelling alongside him his ups and downs and seeing him develop on his journey in this book was wonderful.  A great read and superb debut novel.
Thanks to NetGalley for a Kindle copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
An intriguing and entertaining story, well written and interesting.
The plot is well developed and flows without any issue, the cast of characters is well written, I fond Yvonne not always likeable and sometimes she grated on my nerves.
It's a book that is entertaining but gives you a lot of food for thought as well.
It's the first book I read by this author and won't surely be the last.
Recommended!
Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for this ARC, all opinions are mine.
Was this review helpful?
The Kosher Delhi was not what I was expecting from the description. The character of Yvonne is extremely volatile and Vic is totally in thrall to her. I kept wanting to tell him to run away. Vic is hard-working and creative and the racism he suffers from is all too plausible. Yvonne is lucky not to have been in prison from the outset. I completely bought how captivating Vic found Yvonne although the red flags were there so early on. A more confident man would have left her in London.
I particularly enjoyed the section in New York, Where Vic starts to get what he deserves, and Yvonne finds her limitations. Four stars.
Was this review helpful?
If there's a story that goes to show that people can indeed surprise you, then this right here would be one of those that I mention. We follow Vik and Yvonne from London to New York, and their struggles with finding meaning, acceptance and love in tumultuous times makes for an interesting read. However, what personally stood out for me was the growth that was evident in Vik's life and his perception of the racism and hurdles he encountered in his work. It's as engaging as it is melancholic, but one thing is certain, any reader is bound to grow with the characters at some point in the book, whether it's for good or for the worse, that's not in my place to tell.
Thank you Netgalley for the eARC.

PS: Oh, the ending!
Was this review helpful?
I loved the first half of THE KOSHER DELHI, with its vivid descriptions of what it meant to be young and powerless in 1990s Leeds and London. There was a constant sense of tension, of disaster narrowly avoided, as the central characters navigate complex relationships and their efforts to find a place in the music and restaurant businesses. The decision to move to the US brings change for the young couple at the center of the novel, and the story became more predictable and less compelling for me when they traveled further from home and each other. But still, an intriguing story about grit and determination in a different era.
Was this review helpful?