‘For my whole life I had been looking for home. But why would that be in a place that I’d left? Perhaps I had to keep moving forward in order to find it…’
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!
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 223 members
Fragrant, spicy food contrasted with sub-zero temperatures and permanent darkness; The Arctic Curry Club is a beautifully written novel full of rich contradictions. It shouldn't work, but it does! This is a story with a difference. Main character Maya jets off to Longyearbyen, a freezing town situated deep in the Arctic circle. Struggling with her anxiety and her unfamiliar surroundings, it's a rocky start to a new life for Maya. Her boyfriend Ryan, on the other hand, takes to Arctic life like a duck to water. However, Maya soon has no choice but to face her fears. Before long, she's started carving out a place for herself in Longyearbyen. Armed with her late mother's treasured recipe book, Maya is ready to take the Arctic by storm! Maya is a likeable and relatable main character. Although she does have her demons, she's also passionate and endearing - not to mention, she's an excellent cook! The biggest hurdle that Maya has to overcome, though, is her anxiety. It's so easy to relate to this part of her character on a personal level - from her fear of the unknown to catastrophising every little detail, all of Maya's deepest internal thoughts are laid out on the page. This humanises her, as well as raising awareness of how difficult even the most seemingly mundane things can be for those who suffer from anxiety. Aside from this, though, The Arctic Curry Club is a foodie's heaven. The descriptions of the meals Maya makes are absolutely divine and it's all too easy to imagine the delicious aromas wafting through from her kitchen. Make sure you have plenty of snacks to hand when you read this book! It's not just the food that is perfectly described, however. The essence of both India and the Arctic are captured with ease and described well enough that you can easily conjure these two vastly different parts of the world up in your mind's eye. Above all else, this is a story of finding yourself and your place in the world. Maya shows us that a little courage can go a long way - after all, you need to believe in yourself if you're going to succeed in life. Inspirational, heart-warming, and unexpectedly emotional, The Arctic Curry Club is a real gem.
Gosh this book made me hungry 😂 Very hungry! As you might guess from the title, there is a fair amount of food discussed in the novel, and I felt the whole plot was beautifully seasoned with the spices of life. The book begins with Maya and her boyfriend Ryan arriving in the Arctic. I am a fan of cold temperatures but even for me, that’s extreme! And the only reason why Maya ends up there is because she is accompanying Ryan, who decided to move there for work. Alarm bells rang in my head when I understood the context behind their arrival and getting to know Maya only reinforced my feelings about the whole situation. Some might find following your love to the end of the world romantic, but I’m on the cynical side of things and it sounded crazy to me! Frozen ground, few people around, and anxiety for main company? It is far from ideal. But don’t we say good things can be born from bad choices? Maya is half Indian, half English and she’s never really felt home anywhere. She thinks she doesn’t fit in, so why not get on this adventure? The author did a great job describing the harsh reality of the Arctic and the loneliness of the place. I couldn’t decide if Maya had brought the loneliness along with her or if the remoteness of the place was simply the best echo chamber for her emotions The cold was not just coming from the wind and outdoors, but Maya had yet to discover it. The Arctic Curry Club is a lovely read taking its main character on a journey (or several journeys) to find herself. Maya felt disconnected from her roots and her past, and the ghost of her deceased mother haunting her pushed her forward, into a crazy storm of secrets, choices, disappointments, encounters, and opportunities. Oh, and polar bears. The smooth and warm writing, associated with a lovely array of secondary characters made this novel an absolute joy to read. No over-the-top happy moments, just how I like my stories to be told. Food brought the warmth stolen by the brilliant yet scary setting, and acted as a glue, creating a new puzzle out of Maya’s life pieces. Anxiety is one of the characters in this book, plaguing Maya on a daily basis. I appreciated how the author incorporated some of the things we anxiety warriors do or think oh-so-often. Although, unlike Maya, I need to sleep for hours after a panic attack, or even the beginning of one. It is nice to see mental health not making an appearance for the sake of the plot, but as a full part of someone’s life, and many will appreciate Maya’s efforts to live and tame the monster. I really had a lovely time reading this novel and imagining the spices and views.
I was pulled in by this book and read it in a day, I couldn’t put it down! Relationships, family, friends, anxiety, life in the Arctic, mouth watering Indian food - all comes together to make an interesting and uplifting read. Thanks to Avon books UK and net galley for letting me read this book - published 9 December 2021 4 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Oh this is a great book , something a bit different and if you suffer with anxiety you will relate to this book. Thoroughly enjoyed The Artic Curry Club.
I absolutely loved this and read it in one sitting. This book was absolutely perfect to read during a very stressful time in my life. It's cozy, escapist, and comforting, without being cheesy, sentimental, or silly. The main character Maya is especially well drawn - the way her struggles with anxiety are depicted (I especially liked her lists!) will connect with a lot of readers. I love fiction that takes me to places I've never been - I've never been to the Arctic, or to Bangalore, and the strongest parts of this book are in how well it evokes the setting and details of these places. I loved the use of supporting characters - everyone comes off as human and believable. I loved the positive relationship with the dad. I loved how Maya struggles with not feeling either Indian or British enough, and her overall journey. The plot is exciting - a lot of events happen - and it kept me hooked. And use of food is mouth-watering (I mean, who doesn't love to eat?!). I loved the message at the end, about how the things we love change, rather than disappear completely, and how anxiety can be a strength, rather than a weakness. Overall, I really loved this. I think this would be a fabulous book club pick. Thank you Netgalley and the publishers for the ARC.
This book is wonderful! It features my favourite book title of 2021. Parts of it are much heavier than I anticipated (and could handle at the moment, tbh) and deal with mental illness. It's an integral part of the story and well done but just be forewarned about it. On the one hand it was nice to read about anxiety in an authentic way but on the other hand I definitely did not want to be reading about anxiety as I read to escape from it. I will definitely read more from this author in the future. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Avon Books UK through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own. Thank you, Avon Books UK!
The Arctic Curry Club quite surprised me. It's not literary fiction and it's not quite 'chick lit'. It takes complex emotional and psychological topics and delivers them in a light, easily read style. It won't tax your brain, it might have you shaking your head in places (honestly, food as time travel gets a bit wearing after a while) but it does a great job tackling anxiety, self-doubt and, eventually, taking control of your life on your own terms. I thought it was pretty good. I can't recall reading many (any?) books where the main character is so messed up with anxiety. I could understand why family and friends had hidden aspects of her past from her - you don't really want to go telling an anxious person about their even more anxious mother, lest you push her too far. Maya follows her boyfriend to northernmost Norway to study polar bears - he's studying; she's just standing around shivering whilst her eyebrows freeze to her face. Everything about the place scares her. The sun's not been seen for months and won't be back for several more, the temperatures are shocking and everything is unbelievably expensive. She takes on a part-time job cooking for tourists on adventure breaks and soon becomes the best curry chef in the Arctic Circle - or probably, the ONLY curry chef in the Arctic Circle. In the midst of all these challenges, she takes a trip to Bangalore where her father is marrying his late wife's best friend. In Bangalore, she gets her late mother's cookery book and starts recreating recipes. These recipes are like a time machine and she's soon dreaming and hallucinating events around the last time she ate those dishes. Sorry, bit far fetched for me. I know that food is inextricably linked to memory, but this is a tad too hard to swallow. These 'visions' lead Maya to question what happened to her mother and eventually uncover some very uncomfortable aspects of her past. I liked the food. I cook and eat a lot of curry and I've travelled all over India. Maya took me on a trip with her through her cooking at a time when Covid has me tied up at home. I also liked the way Maya evolved from a fearful follower to a courageous and independent woman, making up her own mind and not just trotting after her man. Thanks to Netgalley and the publishers. To the author, PLEASE can I come round to yours for dinner? (One tiny correction. Coronation Chicken is described in the book as Anglo-Indian and as a dish from the days of the Raj. This isn't actually true. Perhaps she's confusing it with Jubilee Chicken which is an earlier dish. Coronation Chicken was created for Elizabeth II's coronation in 1953 and thus post-dates Indian Independence).
The story Maya has decided to join her partner Ryan in the Arctic while he is doing academic work on polar bears. They arrive in the heart of the winter when there is four endless months of winter darkness, snowstorms and icy temperatures. Like super icy 🥶 Maya is half British and half Indian. Her father met and married her mother while working in India. Her mother died when she was 7 and she and her father returned to the UK. Maya can’t remember anything about her mother or living in India, it’s all been blocked out. And she suffers terrible anxiety. She is a trained cook and starts cooking for tourists that visit for the local attractions and eat at the cabins outside town afterwards. But as she cooks some of her late mother’s recipes, she starts getting flashbacks to life in India and memories of her mother. My thoughts The climate and conditions in the Arctic are a huge aspect of this story. The food and culture of India are another. Maya’s mental health struggles are very real, and her growing acceptance of the memories being revealed mirror the healing that is happening within her. This is an emotional story with several trying experiences. The backdrop of the months of darkness followed by twilight and light follow the path of depression and struggle to acceptance and happiness. This story is beautifully written, handled so sensitively and the setting in both India and the Arctic shows the research and life experience of the author. A stunning read!
“Don’t judge a book by its cover.” If you, like me, picked this up/requested it and thought “gee, this should be a nice fluffy read — it’s about food and a setting you don’t see often in books, so much fun!!” well well well. How the turntables. This book packs a wallop in all the good ways. It comes at you like a polar bear going after reindeer curry. It gives a searing, clear eyed treatment of living with anxiety, depression, family secrets, having faith in your abilities, learning to trust yourself, forgiveness, and does it all in the backdrop of the Arctic and India. This book is like the most delicious, intricate curry you’ve ever tasted. You can’t help yourself for seconds…thirds…or, in my case, staying up until the wee hours to finish. Highly, highly recommended.
I thought I was going to read a rom com but I’m so glad I was given the opportunity to review the book. It was so interesting reading about life in the Arctic and the difficulties living in the cold and dark. I loved the recipes and the trip to India but what stood out for me was the the main character Maya who was battling anxiety. Memories of Her past in India had disappeared when her mother died and she moved to England. Such a beautifully written book well worth a read
This will be a lovely read for our customers looking for something uplifting to read over the Christmas/New Year period and into the summer break.
When I requested The Arctic Curry Club by Dani Redd from NetGalley, I was not completely certain what kind of book I was getting in to. The answer turns out to be the best kind. Maya is a UK raised, mixed race, 30 something with a major anxiety problem. Her mum was killed when she was a child in India and her dad raised her solo in the UK. Now Maya wants to strike out with, but really follow, boyfriend Ryan to Longyearbyen in Norway's Svalbard archipelago in the middle of winter. Concuring anxiety solo, in the dark, while her boyfriend is studying polar bears leaves Maya in a difficult state. Maya's father invites her to India to meet and celebrate his wedding to Uma, Maya's mother's friend from decades earlier. While there, Maya begins to remember snippets of her youth. She also begins to learn about Indian food and some of her late mum's recipes. Back in Norway, Maya continues to learn about herself while living and caring for the End of the Road Cabins with Mikkel, Adam, and Rita. She begins to cook for tour groups and then begins the Arctic Curry Club. Maya goes through serious personal growth during her time in Norway and India. She learns about her mum, her culture, and herself. It is heartfelt and a lovely read. Thank you NetGalley for this ARC in exchange for an honest review.
I really enjoyed this book! The cover looked like it would be another silly romance for me to enjoy, but this read like more of a memoir. If I didn't know, I'd think this was a piece of nonfiction. We follow our main character, Maya, as she moves to the Arctic with her boyfriend. The descriptions of nature in this book are almost as breathtaking and descriptive as the food Maya cooks! This really felt like a travel and food book with a fabulous plot thrown in for good measure. Maya suffers from anxiety, but I thought it was well portrayed. I really enjoyed this book and it absolutely flew by. I'm shocked that this is this author's debut book, honestly. I cannot wait to read whatever Dani writes next!
I couldn't wait to start reading this book, the story sounded really good and the title sounded intriguing. Maya and her boyfriend have moved to the Arctic and she is not at all fussed about it, it doesn't seem all it is cracked up to be. Because of all this Ryan is being distant from her which makes her feel lonely in such an isolated place. Her mother use to cook and that is where Maya has learnt her skills from, so to bring comfort to herself she reads her mother's cook book and cooks from it, from here she starts to make a few friends and manages to get a job doing something she loves. Finally things are looking up. Maybe coming here is not a bad thing after all. I think people will be able to relate to this story about doing something for someone you love but with it not necessarily the right thing for you. It shows you can make the best of a bad situation if you just put your mind to it. I really enjoyed this uplifting read and I look forward to reading what ever Dani comes up next with.
Thanks Netgalley for allowing me to read this book. Maya leaves for the arctic with her boyfriend. Maya wasn't sure she made the right decision of going to the artic. She decides to cook which opens up more doors. I enjoyed this book.
Thanks Netgalley and the Publisher. Who doesn't like a good curry mixed in with a good story and great characters. I really enjoyed this.
I really enjoyed this book even though it was not what I expected. Maya goes to the Artic with her boyfriend Ryan, not really knowing what to expect. It’s sooo cold and sooo dark and she finds it so difficult to fight the demons of her depression. As well as this she is having flashbacks/dreams of her past when her mother was alive ( she died when Maya was very young), which she is finding very unsettling. A visit to India to see her dad brings memories from old but also reveals the beginnings of lies that have been buried for years. Maya feels at a loss, hurt, disappointed, afraid, will she cope in a new place. The offer of a job at the end of the world cabins gives her an outlet to do something she enjoys cooking, which I turn leads to happiness, friendships and a sense of belonging. My only disappointment is that there was no recipes at the end to try as my mouth wanted butter chicken.
This book was absolutely fabulous! Loved how different the setting was- learning about life in the Arctic was amazing, not to mention the added interest of life in Bangalore. The descriptions of food were tantalising and I thought she approached the issue of anxiety and general mental health conditions delicately, sympathetically and in a very informed way. Not enough books go into such detail. Seeing the protagonist’s confidence develop was inspirational- a truly amazing read.
Cookbook In Hand… The Arctic is not exactly as envisaged for Maya after having agreed to follow boyfriend Ryan to the ends of the earth. In fact, things are often despairing. With cookbook in hand there may well be a demand for some delicious food. Dealing with some difficult issues with a sleight of hand and with empathy this is an unexpected and often warming read.
It is a great book for young children with an age group of 7+. I loved the cover of the book. It is a great selling point . I loved the book becuase you really felt that you were transported there.
I thought this book was going to be cutesy and light, but it’s actually a really good read with deeper, emotional tones to it. It’s a super sweet book that I think could easily be a wonderful movie!! The author did a great job describing the environment and the food which for whatever reason, worked perfectly together! With themes of finding out who we are and where we belong, food and family, love and loss, and so much more, this book was wonderful and really made me connect and feel for the main protagonist, Maya. Great read!
The title had me intrigued. Maya moves to the Arctic with her boyfriend, Ryan. The snow, the cold and the dark were bigger obstacles than she anticipated. There were several threads running through the novel. I thought the subject of anxiety was very sensitively tackled and it was great to see how Maya became stronger and more confident as the story progressed. Also, the story of how Maya lost her mother at a young age and how her memories of her were slowly returning. Maya's acceptance of her new stepmother and her short romance with an old friend from India. The author certainly manages to pack a lot in! The writer has a quirky writing style which flowed easily. It was well plotted and the characters were well painted. My only criticism would be that while the Indian recipes were an integral part of the story, I felt there were too many descriptions of the dishes. Perhaps, some could have been linked to recipes at the end of the book? I would definitely recommend this read and look forward to reading more by this author. Thanks indeed to Netgalley and the publisher for the ARC.
I was sent a copy of this book for an honest review. Thank you so much for letting me read this book! It was quite different to my usual type of book, but I loved it. I loved how the writer made the characters so real and believable, and it was very interesting to have them in the Arctic. It was so descriptive. I could happily read another! Shame the recipes weren't in the reading copy but I'll have to buy the book! Definitely worth it. #TheArcticCurryClub #Netgalley
I can't believe this is a debut novel. It feels so accomplished and had me completely enthralled early on. The Arctic and curry are not necessarily two things you would expect to fit together so well but yet everything about this book just works. The descriptions of the Arctic in winter, the never ending darkness, the cold, the dog sledding and snowmobiling are all there and presented so vividly. And then there are other equally impressive sections set well not in the Arctic but also conjure up the sense of that place so impressively. Then there is the mental health theme running through the book that I'd dealt with sensitively, and I really felt for Maya at times. Especially when more of her family history is discovered. And then there is food, and the descriptions left my mouth watering and feeling like I could smell the aromas and spices. It wouldn't be the Arctic without some wildlife and there is a rather memorable scene involving something whiter and more savage than your average Teddy bear!!! I've always been a sucker for a book with an exotic location and you can't get much more different to regular life than the Arctic. This gave a wonderful feeling of what life in the Arctic must be like in winter that transported me from the comfort of my garden. Somehow I ended up reading this in a rare hot day in September and not curled up in front of a fire all cosy are you are more likely to be!! A gem of a book and I'm excited to see what the author will write next. Thank you to Avon and Netgalley for this copy which I have reviewed honestly and voluntarily,
I really enjoyed reading this book, could’ve gone down the ‘chick lit’ route but tackled mental illness in a sympathetic way and the main character was great! Loved the info for the recipes she cooked and the link to her childhood, love that the ending didn’t go the traditional way either. Highly recommend, a must read x Thank you for a copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review
I received this book for free for an honest review from netgalley #netgalley Perfect read to curl up on the couch with on a cold night.
A book that covered some very difficult subjects. Especially mental healthy and anxiety . The idea of Indian food and the Artic are just a combination you don’t think of. I loved how food helped Maya .Ryan was an idiot . I won’t spoil it but I am glad love did not guide the ending in the way you thought it might. Parents do try to protect us. I really loved it.. A very good ending, not cliched at all. Read it
I really enjoyed this book. It was nice to see something different from a rom com. I really enjoyed the unique setting and the descriptions made me feel I was there. I loved that there were some strong female characters in the book and a general ‘I’ll show you’ attitude even when life knocks you back.
I really enjoyed this title and highly recommend. I feel this will make an excellent addition to anyone’s book collection. Please be sure to go and pick this one up
From the bright cover I was expecting a cute romcom or a clever Northern Exposure style fish out of water story about the city girl come to a quaint village full of colourful characters and starts a supper club full of quirky guests. *SPOILER ALERT* this is not that story, the supper club doesn't even show up until halfway through the book. But don't let that scare you away. The story of Maya, who has never felt quite like she belonged anywhere and who suffers from major anxiety caused by past trauma is a delightful read regardless of my unmet expectations. This story is a journey. Maya comes to a remote Arctic island to follow a man and winds up finding herself. It might sound cliché, but the story delivered more. The recipes sound so good, I was hungry all the time. The main locations are written about in a realistic way by an author who has lived in both places. The characters are unique but not in the cloying, two-dimensional way one sometimes finds in a "quirky small town" story. All in all I was very moved by Maya's story. Thank you to Netgalley and to HarperCollins Publishing for this ARC
I really enjoyed this book - it was slightly slow to get going, and the amount of writing about the main character’s anxiety was initially a bit tedious. However, as it became critical to the story, I found it quite engrossing. Worth staking with, as it’s not as predictable as you may think… I loved the settings, really let me imagine both the Arctic and India - also the descriptions of food were really great. Would happily read more from this author.
I was pleasantly surprised by this book: I thought it would be a cute romance and instead I found a journey to self discovery, staying strong in the face of adversity, overcoming the past and what I think is a good rep for anxiety (the mc goes through some difficult situations and the reactions to them were presented in a good way). There was food, friendships, aurora borealis and polar bears and a strong as hell main female character, very easy and enjoyable read!
The Arctic Curry Club Dani Redd a frosty four-star read. This wasn’t what I was expecting at all, this is such a detailed story as you have the artic setting, the Indian culture and the food, mental health. I was expecting a romance with a little chill, but this wasn’t that, it was a good story that made you stop and think at every turn.
The Arctic Curry Club follows Maya, who recently uprooted her life to follow her boyfriend, Ryan, to Svalbard for his job. Arctic living is difficult for the toughest of people, but Maya mental illness causes her to especially struggle with the cold and darkness. When her boyfriend begins to pull away and buried family secrets come to the surface, Maya turns to cooking traditional family recipes with an Arctic twist as a way to cope. I was drawn to The Arctic Curry Club based on the book description, Arctic setting, and food themes. But wow, this book ended up being a lot more than I expected. Maya's struggle with mental illness is prominent throughout the book and is exceptionally portrayed in a variety of circumstances. The author really put great care into how they wrote this character. Maya's flashbacks to her childhood are heartbreaking; it's like peeling back the layers of an onion getting to the bottom of everything. I loved the use of cooking as an outlet for her struggles and enjoyed the descriptive nature of the dinner club scenes. And Ryan would probably have been better off left in the snow dog kennels.....though that may not be fair to the dogs. The Arctic Curry Club tackles a lot of strong themes while simultaneously providing a message of hope that will resonate well with readers. Trigger warning for mental illness themes, including the topic of suicide. Thanks to Netgalley and Avon Books UK for this ARC; this is my honest and voluntary review.
Imagine living and working in a country that doesn’t have any daylight for months of the year and is icy cold! You’ve followed your boyfriend there but then have to go back to India for your fathers wedding. You keep getting flashbacks of various recipes and are given your mothers recipe book. You go back to the ice, taking spices with you, and start cooking for their jaded taste buds. It’s a huge success. Love life not going well but a new job in a brand new hotel comes up and your Indian/English hybrid menu takes off. It was a slow starter but I really liked it at the end. Well donev
Thank you for the advance copy of this book! I ADORED this book! First of all, I loved learning about life in Arctic and the background on Indian cuisine. My favorite part though was how mental health was described and handled in this book. Too many books use the words anxiety and depression so flippantly, but this was not the case with Dani Redd, This book was so much more complex than I expected, and I loved the twists and turns of the novel. I hope there's a sequel!
Such an unusual setting for the book, the Arctic, it made a pleasant change. A book all about cooking, finding yourself, a different take on romance too. Totally recommend
I absolutely adored this book. I was skeptic at first, but there were so many layers to the novel that kept appearing - mental health, relationships (on many levels), travel, cuisine, self-discovery. At about 75% through I started to get mildly disappointed at some of the predictability. But I was quickly silenced with the last few traits at the end. Of course, my favorite part was the descriptions of all the food. Mouthwatering. We’ll be ordering Indian for takeout, pronto.
Yes, yes, yes, and more yes. I picked up The Arctic Curry Club out of my reading order because I wanted something hopefully a bit lighter. I didn't exactly get that with Maya but what I got was so much better. Maya follows her boyfriend, Ryan, to the arctic and it's not exactly all she'd hoped it to be. The nights are never-ending, the cold is like nothing she'd felt before, and frankly it's all a bit depressing and scary. That's how it starts, but Maya is just so much more. I love the exploration of identity, culture, and family. I loved that the book takes us from London to Longyearbyen to Bangalore. There is so much development and growth in this book that you never want to stop reading, just waiting for the next discovery to be made. 5/5 Stars! Thank you to NetGalley and Avon Books UK, Avon for providing me with an e-arc of this book in exchange for an honest review.
I wish to thank NetGalley and Avon Books UK for the ARC of this compelling book in return for my honest review. I was attracted to its delightful, eye-catching cover, which portrays a bright, joyful dinner in the far north. There were unexpected dark themes of anxiety, crippling fear, repressed memories, abuse, mental illness, suicide, and low self-esteem. The story seamlessly combines two of my favorite things, the Arctic and Indian food. I remained absorbed in the story. Maya is of mixed Indian and British parentage. She lived in India until her mother died when she was 7. She grew up in England and has absolutely no memory of her early life in India. She absorbed the British culture but never felt that she truly belonged. Her boyfriend has taken a job monitoring polar bears in the Arctic, and Maya accompanies him. Her lifetime of anxiety, fear, and panic attacks are magnified in the Arctic setting. She enjoys the northern lights, rides in a dogsled, learns to drive a snowmobile, and takes shooting lessons but is terrified by each new endeavor. She hates the bitter sub-zero temperatures, the 24 hour days of darkness, fears polar bears, and even an Arctic fox. Her anxiety is crippling, and she barely manages to function. Her boyfriend thrives in this new environment. At first, he seems most patient and understanding, but soon tires of her inability to participate in community life. He slyly undermines her confidence. I felt that her panic attacks and self-doubts were handled with sensitivity and skillfully written so one could feel her anxiety. However, I felt that these were overwritten and described more than necessary. Maya goes to work as a cook at a tourist stop a short distance from the town. Some of the tour group members mention they would prefer spicier meals to improve on the bland food being served. Maya knows little about Indian cooking but makes a few attempts. She finds that tasting her cooking sets off vague flashbacks of her early life in India. Her father is being married in India to an old friend of her late mother. She travels to India for the first time for the wedding and begins to learn to cook Indian cuisine. This causes more flashbacks of her forgotten early life, and finally, some distressing secrets her father kept from her. She reconnects with a former male friend. Will a romance develop? Maya is given her late mother's recipe notebook and becomes proficient in preparing some of the meals. She returns to the Arctic, angry with her father. Back in the Arctic, her dinners become a trendy tourist destination. She still lives with anxiety but now has a new skill that occupies her mind. She gains confidence and makes new friends. The descriptions of her meals caused me to rush out for Indian take-out. I wished her most popular recipes had been included at the end of the book. The dinners were overly described with no idea how to prepare or cook the delicious-sounding meals. Several unfortunate events occur that mean the job at the tourist stop must end. She has been offered work as head cook at an upscale hotel in the Arctic town and is preparing to return to England. Has she found a place where she feels she truly belongs? A gripping story of living with anxiety and learning to overcome fears while building confidence and a feeling of belonging. (3.5 stars rounded up to 4).
I loved this book, an unromance novel, where the protagonist falls out of love with her boyfriend and begins to love herself a little more. What stands out about this book is the unique settings. From the chilly north to the heat of India, the settings drive the narrative as Maya tries to find her role after following boyfriend Ryan to the Arctic. In finding that Ryan perhaps isn't her everything, Maya also learns more about her long dead mother, her father and her early life in India. Maya's talent is cookery, which adds another delicious and tantelising layer to the book: I'd love to see recipes for some of the things she cooks, even if reindeer is in short supply in Sussex! Well worth a read, will leave you smiling.
Maya accompanies her boyfriend to the Arctic. As she battles against the frigid temperatures, constant darkness, and her own anxiety she begins to cook Indian food for the first time in her life. The food brings flashes memory and life in India before her mother died. As what she thought was truth begins to shift she need to find a way to create a life of her own. But how will she even survive in the Arctic?
I love a book that is set in an unusual setting and it isn't very often you find a book set in the anartic circle. I also love a book that is about cooking, a book about finding yourself. Being able to turn your life around when things go not the way you have planned and a book that has some romance in it. So this book for me ticked all the boxes.
This was a cute romantic read set in a very different setting than most romantic comedies. So that was a really neat aspect to the story. Premise 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… I loved watched Mayas fish out of water foray into the Arctic help her find herself as well as her passion for cooking. This would make a really cute movie as well!
What a fun, wholesome read! This was the first book I've read set in the Artic and boy did it prove to be an adventure 😂 It was a little slow to begin with, but once it picked up I was so fascinated by Maya and her story! I think the author delt with Maya's struggle with anxiety really well and even though it seems like it's been overwritten it's imperative to the story! The Artic Curry Club follows Maya after she moves to the Artic with her boyfriend Ryan and discovers that she may have romanticised the idea of living across the world with him ,as she really is having a struggle ! It's then that she opens up one of her mum's old cookbooks, and her journey begins. I loved the descriptions of the food!!! It was absolutely amazing reading about so many Indian dishes - my brown girl heart was very happy 😂❣️ as somebody who enjoys cooking as well I found Maya's culinary journey especially wonderful (but even if you didn't this is still such a lovely read!)
This book is uplifting, entertaining and enjoyable. I found myself transported to the Arctic, following Maya who has recently moved to be with her boyfriend. It’s evident from the beginning that Maya has mental health issues, and I really like that the book goes into detail about the emotions she is experiencing. I found myself relating to Maya, and I thoroughly enjoyed reading about her journey to self-love and appreciation. I would definitely recommend! Thank you to NetGalley and Avon Books UK for allowing me an eARC in exchange for an honest review.
What a great debut novel from Dani Redd. Maya was so like able and I wanted to hug her when her anxieties took over. She sacrificed so much for everyone as she wanted to please everyone when really she needed to look after herself. I loved the Indian heritage part. The pain of finding out about her childhood made her stronger and enabled her to move on and find happiness. I would like to see the story continue.
I loved this book it is as warm and delicious as the curries it describes. It tells the story of Maya who has followed her boyfriend to Longyearbyen - a town deep in the artic but her anxiety goes through the roof worrying about the cold, the polar bears and just life in general, she fears she will never cut it and retreats to the safety of her bed but when her father announces that he is getting married she travels to India for the celebrations and begins to learn about herself and her life and why she is the way she is. I was really glad when Ryan showed himself for who he was and thought that Maya would get her happy ending which she did, just not in the way I expected. I loved how Maya got her happy ending by realising her own self worth and achieving her own dreams and didn't need anyone else to make her happy. I thought the characters she meets along the way really added to the story and I found myself drawn straight in and not wanting to stop reading. The description of the recipes was perfect,I could almost smell them and really would have loved a recipe section at the back so you could go away and try to recreate her meals! This was a great book that dealt with real emotions and mental health issues that will pick you up and take you away!
Maya relocates to Longyearbyen near the North Pole with her boyfriend Ryan but must contend with more than just the move. He cheats on her, the weather is freezing and she has to try and adapt to the totally new Arctic lifestyle..This makes Maya even more anxious and nervous. After a trip to India, she discovers more about her mother and Indian cooking. Maya faces many challenges in this honest, down to earth and clever tale She has to overcome insecurities in her own way. An optimistic and uplifting cautionary tale. accompanied by lovely food. I enjoyed it immensely. .
I really enjoyed this book.The setting drew me in the book is more then a rom com it deals with mental health and anxiety.Add in delicious food and interesting characters this is a book I will be recommending.#netgalley #avonbooksuk.
A lovely debut novel, bringing together the heat of spice with the chill of the Arctic! Maya has accompanied her boyfriend, Ryan out to the Arctic, to help him follow his dream. Though it's not hers, by any stretch of the imagination. Shrouded in anxiety at every step, the story uncovers different layers of Maya's own story and the reasons for her deep-rooted anxieties, as the inky black nights of the Arctic begin to shed their darkness, revealing new layers of colour along the way. Maya's Anglo Indian background gives her a reason to stay in a place she would never have chosen to be, once her relationship crumbles, as she picks up the reins of her own love, cooking, and slowly begins to experiment with the flavours connected to her childhood. Her mother's handwritten recipes, in an old book, help Maya to create something the Arctic wasn't expecting, and the memories that surface, with every new mouthful of food she creates, helps Maya to discover more and more about a past she had learned to block out. I truly enjoyed this story, with a little hint of romance, but, ultimately, a book filled with self-discovery. It was a tad slow at the start, but as revelations kept popping up, the faster my pages turned. Many thanks to NetGalley and Avon Books for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
The Artic curry club, what’s not to love about this great read. Food, friendship,places I’ve never been. The book gave a real insight to the Arctic and how it would be to visit and explore this idilic location. Maya has her struggles and it’s so sensitively explored and touched upon, gives people with similar struggles a real ‘it’s not only me “ feeling. During the read I could have jumped into the pages and enjoyed the amazing food, I could almost smell the curry cooking. I’m so happy the story concluded with Maya finding happiness in a place she felt she now belongs Really great book that deals with family struggles and anxiety in a real bit sensation way. Looking forward to the next read by Dani Redd 😊
Dear Readers, Aliens and Creatures, things can be tough until you find the right people that match your energy. … It could be because I miss many random things about home. It could be my understanding of figuring out your culture among different cultures… But I loved how smooth, enjoyable and well-written this book was. Maya is half British, half Indian. Her mother was from Delhi, but circumstances landed her in Bangalore where she meets Maya’s British dad, the rest is flowers, chocolate and romance; or so Maya has been led to believe. In truth, much like the slow change from complete darkness to the beginnings of sunlight in the Arctic, Maya goes through a journey of shocks, recovered memories and self-discovery. In the midst of changes, loss and self-discovery she will begin a cooking club using the dishes her mother has painstakingly written and her own skills as a chef, in an attempt to survive and thrive. She will face her own fears and insecurities, polar bears and friends who come to depend on her… all as her memory begins to come back to her piece by piece. Maya was a difficult character to read about because I share similarities and differences with her in equal measure. I was frustrated by her dependency and her unwillingness to try things, simply because she had never done it before, used as an evasive mechanism. I wish she could have seen how amazing she was earlier and that every version of her mattered. TRIGGERS The book touches on different types of trauma with a gentle hand. Mental health, abuse and suicide are weaved into the story, but it is well done and respectful.
real good for a debut!! it had more depth than i thought it would've and was quite a sensory trip with the descriptions of the food and the desolate and wild arctic. i also really liked the how the transition of the arctic environment from the darkness in the polar nights to finally seeing the light is parallel to maya's journey
The setting for this book made me reminiscence about my own Northern Lights adventure - the cold and dark is hard but the beauty of the surroundings great! You emphasised with Maya not really knowing where she fitted in and seemingly also trying to please other people. I enjoyed how food brought back her memories as am a firm believer in smells and tastes locking memories in. A lovely tale and shows you can achieve anything if you really want it.
What a great read! The plot was what go me first. However, I became captivated by Maya's journey toward claiming her own identity. Excellent characterization.
I was so excited to read this book and I was not disappointed. I was expecting chick lit but what I got was so much more and I couldn't put it down.
This was a totally different read to what I was expecting but I certainly wasn’t disappointed by any means. This was a brilliant debut novel from this author and what really stood out for me was the authors from The heart portrayal of what it’s like to live with anxiety through the heart and mind of the main character Maya. I personally feel this is a topic which often gets brushed under the carpet or shied away from so hats off to the author for tackling this complex and sensitive subject head on. This was so much more than the romance story I was expecting and dealt with lots of other issues like love loss and grief and finding yourself and pushing beyond boundaries to achieve happiness and success. The descriptions of the Arctic and the scenes of India and the delightful food all kept of the page with their colourful and life like descriptions and the yin and yang of contrasting places the deep cold chill of the Artic meets the hot sumptuous heat and colours of India all bound together in the pages of the story and in the creation of the Arctic curry club. This is a book that warms your heart but also fills you with many other sad and happy emotions along the way.
I laughed, I got angry, I got sad, I smiled and I loved it. A really well written novel, I loved the story, very clever and unusual. Well written characters and I felt the speed of the plot worked well too. As someone who has lived with manic depression and anxiety since the age of 13 it was refreshing to read a book that was both honest and realistic about the realities of life with a mental health condition. I feel that Dani Redd did a great job portraying both those with mental health conditions and the effects it has on those in their life. Whilst telling a fun story too. The title threw me off a little, I had one idea of where the story would go but it ended up having a different focus & you don't really get to the part where the title makes sense till about half way through. That is no bad thing though, I really enjoyed where the story took me. I would happily recommend this story as a relaxing read, perfect for the autumn / winter. It's the sort of book you can curl up with, get yourself a nice hot choc and cosy up to read. If you do have a mental health condition it might be worth mentioning that elements could be triggering for you. I know some people with anxiety say they like to avoid reading about as they deal with it 24/7, I on the other hand like to read good portrayals of it. It makes me feel like I'm not alone, like I'm not odd or strange. That others go through what I do, they must. Otherwise how would the author have known how to describe it so well!
This was such a stunning debut! I absolutely loved this from start to finish. I was hooked from the very first chapter and it held my attention the whole way through. I could not put this down. Maya was a fantastic main character and one of the most interesting female characters I've read in a while. Her character development was excellent throughout. The supporting characters were just as interesting and really diverse. Both the Arctic and India jumped off the page while I was reading and the location was so vivid and clear. The author was really descriptive with regard to the locations and food. I'm craving an Indian takeaway now and another book by this fantastic debut author!
I started back to work recently, which slowed down my ability to read, since I tend to fall asleep a lot earlier lately. I knew I had to break that rut and The Arctic Curry Club was the perfect book to make that happen. It's a fun, easy read, with a great story behind it. Maya decides to follow her boyfriend to the Arctic circle when he gets a job opportunity to track polar bears. At loose ends, she discovers that Arctic temperatures really aren't for her and that the frozen tundra has left her in a. funk. She turns to cooking Indian recipes from her past, and begins to unravel some long forgotten family secrets. From the title to the cover to the plot, everything about this book just seemed to yell "Read me!" to me and it definitely did not disappoint. Watching Maya struggle and grow is so reminiscent of the early 20s for most of us, minus the polar bears and sub-zero temperatures. Can't wait to see what the author comes out with next.
A raw and fantastic adventure book that is more about self-love and healing than romance, however I absolutely loved it and found the story so captivating as Maya discovers more and more about her long forgotten childhood and the secrets that lie hidden. Infused with mouthwatering recipes and a fire that ignites both wanderlust and a desire to pursue your passions in life, this was definitely a story I won't forget in a hurry.
Interesting story of Maya, who leaves England and goes with her boyfriend to the arctic in northern Norway. Starts out a bit slow, but picks up. Struggling with panic attacks and mental issues, it is no surprise when her boyfriend strays. She does find a job though, and begins to create a combination of Indian/Nordic foods that are a big hit. Really enjoyed this one, and liked that there were paths I figured would emerge but they didn't. Would highly recommend this book, and it will make you hungry. No recipes though, sadly.
An enjoyable read. I’d definitely like to read books by this author again. Will look out for more. Well done.
A cute, quick and easy read that i devoured quickly. It was heartwarming, uplifting and full of cosy imagery. I really enjoyed reading this book.
First off, thank you for letting me review this book! I really enjoyed the story and the characters of this book! The storyline kept me reading until I finished! I loved the characters and how well everyone connected
This was a very impressive debut novel, the descriptions of everything from the food to the mental health feelings were really well presented. The story was engaging and the characters likeable. I will definitely be on the look out for new books from this author.
Not entirely sure what I expected. Although to be fair it was pretty obvious that was was going to be about someone making curries in 5e arctic! Maya heads north with her boyfriend Ryan to live his dream among 5e polar bears. At the same time her widowed father moves back to the India of her birth and on a visit there she discovers her mother”s cook book. Strangely through food back in the frozen north she is able to recapture memories of her childhood in India and although terrible it is by remembering that she is able to grow and cope with what life has to throw at her. A great hero and a warming story.
Another lovely book from Netgallety, thank you. Maya is a very sensitive girl and spends a lot of her life being anxious. She feels she does not fit into Indian or British shoes and this is something she wants to get to grips with. Her mother was Indian and her father British. She came back to the UK as a child as her mother had passed away. Her father was very protective which led possibly to her anxiety. Maya follows her partner to The Arctic, he studying polar bears. She does feel that this is a good decision to be with Ryan but things do not go according to plan. She finds the permanent darkness and the freezing weather a problem and does not to out far. This causes her anxiety to heighten and she becomes quite lonely and Ryan does not understand and puts her down in his way. Ryan is not particularly supportive which becomes a problem. Her father tells Maya that he is to marry again in India and asks her to travel to the wedding which is over Christmas. She obviously goes but it opens her to flashbacks of memory which she cannot understand. She eventually finds out the manner of her mother’s death was not as she expected and this causes a rift between her father and herself. Her father’s new bride was part of the group that her mum mixed with and tries very hard to not have to tell Maya the reason for her mum’s depression. Maya arrives back to the Arctic and is confronted by something which devastates her. She moves to cabins and is asked to help with the cooking for the guests who visit to dog sled etc. She finds it very difficult and the permanent darkness is draining. Eventually she gets used to the change and as her father’s new wife gave her a handwritten recipe book which was collated by her mother she decides to start The Arctic Curry Club. Life continues with ups and downs and she settles into life including frightening off a polar bear. Rita who is helping with the cooking can shoot a gun and fires away from the bear to get it to leave. There is a fire at the camp and Maya decides to travel back to India but misses the life in the Arctic and decides to go back as a chef in the newest hotel in the town. This book treats anxiety and depression with a sensitivity and understanding. Really enjoyed the story and hope to read more from this author in the future
It was the title that attracted me to this before anything else! I mean …. you don’t really imagine the words ‘arctic’ and ‘curry’ as being comfortable bedfellows, do you? So I was intrigued to find out just what was going on here. The story revolves around Maya, a young woman without a lot of self confidence or self-awareness. Having mixed Indian and British parentage, but being brought up mainly in England by her father after her mother passes away in India when she’s just 7 years old, Maya has never quite known where she belongs. So when her boyfriend Ryan is offered the opportunity of his dreams, monitoring polar bears in the Arctic, without much thought, she says she’ll go with him. She feels like she’s ‘someone when she’s part of a couple and isn’t sure what she’ll do if he leaves and she stays behind. But Maya has no idea what she’s getting herself into. This is Ryan’s dream, not hers, and as much as he tries to prepare her for the Arctic, it’s impossible to know what it’s like until you’re actually there, Maya is shocked at the unrelenting darkness that prevails for the duration of winter, and absolutely nothing can shield her from the continually invasive, inescapable, icy cold. It doesn’t take long before the anxiety that Maya has lived with for most of her life starts to get the better of her and for her to start withdrawing into herself and retreating from Ryan. She’s unable to participate in the activities he seems to be enjoying, which are quite athletic and mostly outdoors-y, and he comes across as extremely selfish and self-absorbed. There were more than a few times when I was tempted to run him over with a bobsled! During a trip to Bangalore to attend the wedding of her father to her late mother’s best friend, Maya’s anxiety remains, threatening to overwhelm her, even though she does her best not to show her father how unsettled she’s feeling. She really wants to enjoy the time she spends there with him and wants to get to know his new wife as she only has very vague memories of her from when her mother was alive. However, during her visit she becomes extremely disturbed and upset, realizing that there are most definitely some secrets that are being kept from her, many of which have to do with her mother’s death. She leaves Bangalore on bad terms with her father, anxious to return to a place that isn’t even home and feeling even more displaced than ever. What transpires on Maya’s return is where the story truly comes alive! Don’t be fooled into thinking that this is a light, frothy read about someone who moves to a new place and enjoys cooking her mom’s recipes! This is a story of many layers, dealing with many complex, relevant issues: toxic relationships, narcissism, mental illness, anxiety, depression, self-discovery and the way that people react and behave when they feel they’re being constantly judged by others. If anything, it’s a reminder to think before making assumptions about the people we meet and to rather reserve judgement instead of instantly judging harshly and treating people unkindly based on what we don’t know, rather than what we do know! The author’s descriptions of the arctic conditions are so vivid that the Arctic itself almost becomes like another character. I could almost feel how Maya felt: so isolated and desperate in the smothering darkness, and the relentless, glacial cold. Similarly, with her depiction of Bangalore and the food that Maya started to familarise herself with, I wanted to imagine that I could smell the aroma’s of those dishes wafting under my nose! No wonder I constantly felt hungry! This is a highly recommended 4 star read. It’s a wonderful book – and difficult to believe it’s a debut from this talented author. I look forward to reading more from her. Thank you to Netgalley for the ARC. This book will be available from 9 December 2021.
This was a wonderful story. At first glance I thought it was going to be a nice fluffy read but although it was super cosy it addresses some hard hitting topics in a sensitive and respectable manner.
What a lovely, cosy, snuggle-down under the blankets kind of read this was, perfect for cheering these darker, cold winter days. I loved Maya, and her anxious brain, who despite the fear and dread of doing something so utterly terrifying, follows her heart and her boyfriend to Svalbard to live; her angst, bravery, humour, and warmth just leapt off the page. The juxtaposition of her other world, when she travels to India, with all its colour and light, sparkled against the dark and ice of the Arctic, and I was transported between the two extremes. And as for the food, I don’t think I’ve ever craved curry so much in my life (maybe not the seal ribs though)! If you’re looking for some pure escapism, with a beautifully crafted tinge of reality and sadness, something festive but not Christmassy, then wrap up warm, order that spicy takeaway and join Maya in Svalbard (just watch out for the polar bears!).
This was a surprising and lovely story that inspires a desire to follow our dreams. The deep love of family, food, friends and roots shows in every page. Recipes shown sounded mouth watering. The mental health aspect of the story was introduced with respect and kindness. I'm so happy I discovered a new favorite author. Thank you NetGalley, publisher and author for allowing me to read and review this beautiful and warm story.
Firstly, this is a great example of not judging a book by its cover! I mean, it is a stunning cover of course but it fits a specific genre idea and actually, there are some (good) hidden surprises within the storyline of this novel that tip this into writing that spans several genres. It’s well researched, drawing upon the Authors own experiences of the Arctic and Indian Cuisine (as well as the other themes within the book), to make this very authentic. You’ll want to create some recipes after this, perhaps even some from the book (thank you Avon for sending us one to try!). You might also have a yearning for a frosty, chilly adventure to the Arctic… who knows. I really liked the characters, flaws and all. There was a very realistic, honest and sometimes raw accountability within the pages of the book and I loved that. I also had to remind myself that it’s a debut. It’s written with a style that seems comfortable and at ease. I would describe this book as cosy, comforting and a brilliant escape. At the same time it’s more than just those things, but you’ll have to read it to find out more…
Out on December 9, The Arctic Curry Club is the story of a young British-Indian woman, Maya, who moves with her boyfriend, Ryan, to the Arctic for his work. The story touches on some serious topics including living with a mental health challenge (Maya has chronic anxiety), straddling two cultures, self-acceptance, and finding out where you belong. The Arctic setting is a new one for me and the author vividly brought it to life. The main character was very likeable and relatable, the story was well-paced, and there was a satisfying ending. I also enjoyed the cooking as therapy element of the story and the way in which food, smells, taste and memories were intertwined. The descriptions of the food were mouthwatering! Overall, a gentle, loveable, comforting story. Thanks to @AvonsBooksUk and @Netgalley for an advance copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
I really enjoyed this feel good story. Maya follows her boyfriend to the Arctic and finds the transition very hard to deal with - she feels lost and cannot cope with the harsh realities of life so far north. She opens her late mother’s cookbook and cooks Indian food for the first time. This builds her confidence and allows her to land a job as a chef, make her news and start a new venture. At the same time she explores her culture and finds out the truth of her mother’s death. She faces the secrets within her family and learns to start over again. A story of hope and new beginnings. Highly recommended.
This book was so different to what I expected from it but I did love it so very much. Maya has gone to live in the arctic with her boyfriend Ryan and its nothing like she imagined it to be. I loved Maya, she is such a complex character but so real. She isn't a perfect person like some books portray their main character to be. She is anxious, not confident and haunted by a family secret that she cannot seem to get anyone to be honest about. She has so many questions about her life in India as a child but cannot find the answer. Svalbard opens a new world to Maya and challenges her very being, she has to be brave, she has to deal with new situations that make her uncomfortable but she bravely takes it on and see's her life transform due to this. There is also a trip to India for Maya, will this help unlock some secrets to her past? I just loved the contrast from Maya's life in Lapland to her time in India and the people that she meets along to way. I loved the way Maya transforms throughout the book, you really must give this book a read, its very special.
Given that two of my favourite places in the world are India and the Arctic, I was immediately drawn to this book, and I loved it. The author captures the spirit of both places brilliantly, from the biting cold of the far north where the first thing she and I felt on stepping off a plane at temperatures of below 20 degrees was the crackle inside your nostrils, to the heat, chaos and total strangeness of arriving in India for the first time in my case, the first time she can remember in Maya's. We get to know Maya through her relationships with others, both past and present, and it is so interesting to see her take charge of her life little by little. Also fascinating is how she makes sense of her past through the reclaimed memories that come to her through cooking Indian food. I cannot imagine arriving in the Arctic at the beginning of the 24 hour darkness of winter, and I enjoyed the return of the sun and Maya seeing the true colours of her surroundings for the first time. This was a great parallel with her awakening from the past which had held her back for so long. One small thing that needs to be changed - please replace the word longitude with latitude in Part One!
Four and a half stars because I wanted it to go on for longer. Maya is a short, (very) plump, half-Indian, half-English woman. Brought up in India until she was seven years old, she and her father moved to England after her mother's death. Maya has no memories of her time in India and suffers from crippling anxiety, even in quite innocent situations, which has forced her to give up her career as a chef and take much less rewarding work (can you tell I can't remember what). Her boyfriend Ryan studies polar bears and so she has agreed to move to the far north of Norway, inside the arctic circle, for a year when he gets a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to study them up close and personal. Maya and Ryan soon realise that life in the arctic circle is not quite what they expected, Ryan is in his sporty element, husky sledding, long-distance skiing etc, whereas Maya has no friends, no job, is scared of getting lost in the snow, and can't stand the 24-hour night. One of the guys who runs an arctic excursion business for tourists hears that Maya was a chef and offers her a part-time job cooking for the small groups of tourists. One of the tour guides asks Maya to cook some Indian food and she is too embarrassed to admit that she doesn't know how to cook Indian food, which leads her to explore her cultural heritage with a trip to Bangalore and the help of her father's Indian fiance and her mother's old cookery book. But as Maya cooks her mother's recipes she finds that they spark memories she thought long buried and lead her to uncover some family secrets. Maya uses her mother's recipes to start up a supper club, inviting a small number of paying guests to eat a home-cooked Indian meal. I loved this, in fact I read all the way through the night to finish the novel. While some parts of the story were (to me) predictable, there were also lots of things that weren't. In the author's notes at the back Dani Redd notes that she has spent time in both India and the arctic circle and I think the authenticity shows through. I really wanted to cook some of the delicious recipes Maya serves to her guests, I especially loved the way she adapted certain recipes to use ingredients available in Norway, even if some weren't always successful. Highly recommended. I received a free copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in return for an honest review.
This is such a cute cover and I actually enjoyed reading this book! Can't even believe that this is the author's debut book as well. Plot:- Maya Reed Kaur joins her boyfriend, Ryan to Arctic -- sub zero temperatures, dog sledding, freezing cold weather, and polar bears. She finds her late mother's recipe book and while browsing through the recipe book, she gets vivid flashbacks of her childhood in Bangalore, India. Meanwhile, using her mother's recipe book, she makes friends, makes meals fused with both Indian and Arctic styles and creates her own Arctic Curry Club. Writing:- This is actually one of the unique and multicultural books I have read--it's like India meets the Arctic region. I have never been to Arctic so by reading this book with its vivid descriptions of snow, cabins, polar bears, made me feel like I was in the Arctic area. Being a Sri Lankan which is almost similar to the Indian culture, some of the recipes that Maya was making made me feel hungry and pictured Maya making reindeer curry in the Indian style. I do like Maya's developing relationships with Adam, Mikkel and Rita and how she initially hated living in Arctic and soon began to like living in this snowy place. The writing was great, though in the end, I opted for Maya and Jobin, her childhood friend to get back together. The author also did a good job drawing the reader into the story, making the reader feel like they are part of the story. Characters:- Initially, I didn't very much like Maya--I thought she was a whiny character. But gradually I grew into her, I was amazed at her courage and how she overgrew and started opening up her own restaurant in the Arctic. Mikkel, Adam and Rita are favorable characters as well. Overall--overall, I really enjoyed reading this book. If you feel like you want to visit Arctic and have Indian food, this book is the one for you! Thank you Netgalley and the publisher for the ARC. The review is based on my honest opinion only.
I love reading, I don’t think I’ll be surprising anyone saying that I am a book addict, I always have a book with me when I travel and 5 at my work table… So, when a book surprises me, it’s like finding a new friend, a book that I wanted to like but instead I loved and couldn’t stop thinking about it. This is what happened to me with the “The Arctic Curry Club”, I liked the plot, so I hoped it would make me travel to another country and have a good time. But in reality it did much more, it empowered me and make me believe in the light when everything is dark. Step by step; with the right persons on your side you can survive everything. I’ll advise you that this is a book about mental health, depression and physical abuse; told in a very light way but with enough emotions to make you crumble in your sofa. Don’t expect this to be a super romantic story, it’s a sweet story full of delicious food and some male characters, yes, but they don’t really have a strong paper in the story and I think I loved much more this book for this. This is a book to remember us, the reader, that we don’t need a partner to be happy or to get better in our worst moments; good friends, yes, of course, but that’s all. Maybe you are wondering if the book is really about food, yes, believe me, you’ll get hungry whenever you start reading it, there are so many delicious recipes that I would love to read this book in an Indian restaurant while trying all the delicious food Maya creates! Just thinking about it makes me hungry! This had been an amazing read; sweet, emotive and realistic, possibly one of my favorites this year. Are you ready to discover “The Arctic Curry Club”?
Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for giving me this ARC You just can't put the book down! It is quite a journey to read this book, good descriptions, an incredible plot and characters that you love. A great story about self discovery, persisting when times get tough, and the importance of friendships.
Thoroughly enjoyed this book so much so it was read in one sitting, I could not put it down. Loved the setting in the artic and loved how descriptive the book was. Characters were brilliant and I liked the storyline of how Maya faced with all her problems finally conqueres them through sheer determination and will Well done to the author for tackling subjects such as anxiety and depression, can't wait to read more from the author
I struggle to believe this is a debut novel. It is so accomplished that you could be forgiven for thinking this is the work of an author who has been publishing books for years. I love Maya’s way of calming her anxiety by writing lists. I also have the tendency to overthink, and make a mountain out of a mole hill (where did that expression come from, I wonder?), and I find writing my worries down helps, if not to get rid of them, then to help me manage them. The idea of the Arctic - or a holiday anywhere by the home of Father Christmas - really excites me, but maybe I underestimated just how hard it would be to live there. And yet, Dani describes it so beautifully with the snowfall and the northern lights, but doesn’t pretend it’s always so lovely, what with the snowstorms and roaming polar bears. I might be able to bake, but I’d love to be able to cook like Maya does in this book - it clearly gives so much joy to people. I personally didn’t like Maya’s boyfriend Ryan, right from the off. I found him selfish and self-centred and unempathetic (is that a word?) and just really irritating and he didn’t deserve Maya, who is so sweet. It is so sensitive the way Dani has written about the tough topics such as anxiety, depression, death, suicide, grief, isolation, remarriage, break-ups, drug abuse, alcoholism, and culture differences. She never makes it over the top or purely for entertainment purposes. There’s a lot to contend with, but it is written so well that each has their appropriate place in the story. When I started this, I planned to read a few chapters then get some work down in the house, then read a bit more, then do dinner, then a bit more, then go to bed, ready to read some more the next morning. But no. I started it late one evening, and read until 2am so I didn’t have to put it down.
Maya and her boyfriend Ryan have moved to Longyearbyen, the worlds northern most city after Ryan got a fellowship monitoring polar bears. She suffers terribly from anxiety and is struggling to find her feet. Her mother died when she was young and shes troubled by the fact she cant remember her childhood. She gets a job as a cook and is tasked to make curry. Her mother never taught her to cook Indian dishes. But she finds a recipe and gives it a go. While shes eating it she get flashbacks to her childhood. It was her mothers recipe. She feels doesn't quite 'fit in', shes not British enough, not Indian enough. I guess most people can relate, the feeling of being judged without a person really getting to know a you and to have a snapshot decision made. A trip to her fathers wedding in India gives her more questions than answers and more flashbacks and lots more recipes. She finally gets a chance to learn about Indian food. The contrasts between the two countries was so wide. I thought it was quite sad that her mothers mental health had been almost airbrushed out of her memories and her father didn't tell her anything. The storyline does have some darkness and is quite sad but its also uplifting and heart-warming as Maya goes on an incredible journey.
Dani Redd is a new author for me, but I loved the beautiful cover, and the general idea, so I gave it a try. I really enjoyed this book. The writing is really easy to read (even if some of the subject matter isn’t), it flows well. The characters are well written, I really liked Maya. I thought the portrayal of her anxiety came across well. The setting was great, the snow, and the cabins. I liked the fact that Maya struggled with the cold and darkness, it makes a nice change from all the stories where people love it, and seems more realistic. I loved all the descriptions of food, I could almost taste some of the dishes. And I liked the fact that, although by the end of the story, Maya was more confident, she still had anxiety. Overall, this was a great story of self-discovery, friendship, and persisting when times are difficult and uncertain. I was given a free copy of this book, my opinions are my own. TW: attempted rape of MC’s mother (in flashback), also mentions of suicide, anxiety.
Ok so don't read this book unless you have eaten or are going to eat. You will crave curry for one. Maya follows her boyfriend to the coldest place on earth. You might think this is romantic but it soon turns out not to be and she finds the coldest seep into all areas of her life. Never mind, she has her Indian heritage to see her through and she is soon cooking up curries and spicy dishes to help her integrate. The Arctic setting is stunning if not cold and lonely. The author has really set the scene well and I felt chilly just reading it! I enjoyed discovering the area, getting to know Maya and following her on her story. She feels a high level of anxiety and I identified with many of them which made them all the more real. This really is a fascinating novel as it's so much more than what you initially think its going to be. Hot spicy and the cold arctic make for one fascinating mix!
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this books. It definitely made me hungry whilst reading it haha, so be prepared to have some snacks near by whilst reading it. The Arctic Curry Club definitely surprised me. I loved all of the hidden aspects of her past from her. I also loved the characters in this book. There were definitely parts of this book that were heavier than i expected and i liked that it dealt with mental health. There were a few parts were anxiety was mentioned and i could somewhat relate to it. All together this book was a great read and I definitely recommend. I would also read more books from this author. All of these thoughts were my own :) #TheArcticCurryClub
This book is perfect for a cosy winter evening. I really liked the character development of Maya and the description of the food and surroundings was brilliant! A great read for this time of year.
This was a 'curl up' winter read. A beautiful story of finding your inner confidence, letting go, and embracing your past to shape your future. Lost in the world of Maya, i loved watching her grow in confidence and discover her love of cooking Indian cuisine. A real heartwarming read.
I really enjoyed this book. The artic setting was lovely for this time of year and great descriptions allowing you to immerse yourself in the culture and place. The story starts with Maya following her boyfriend to the artic for his job. The characters are very likeable. I enjoyed reading about Mayas personal growth throughout the book and her character development. It was good the way mental health was portrayed. A feel good story of friendships, personal growth and family secrets. I enjoyed the food aspect of it and how two cultures merged in the story. A great book from a debut author and I will be looking out for more of Danis work. Thank you to netgalley and the publishers for an ARC in exchange for an honest opinion.
There was a lot to like about "The Arctic Curry Club." Debut author Dani Redd does a beautiful job painting a picture of the frigid arctic and evolves that description as main character Maya settles into life in this unlikely place. Maya was a relatable character who shares her anxiety in a believable and sympathetic way, giving a glimpse behind the scenes at such a common experience. The found family Maya creates rounds out the story beautifully, and I loved the scenes of her father and Uma talking about her childhood and fumbling toward sharing more about her mother's complicated life and death. The food descriptions left my mouth watering and reminded me to order some Indian takeout as soon as possible and then again after that. A solid 3.5 stars bumped up to 4 stars because I have so much love for a debut author. BUT. I struggled with her breakup with Ryan. She walks in on him shagging the beautiful woman he's been spending time with (in a climax, ahem, we saw coming a mile away) and then he just says "We weren't right together" and leaves her? Then doesn't have the decency to not PDA with the girl he cheated on multiple times throughout the book? I just didn't buy it, perhaps because buying it would cause fits of rage. I also wanted her to end up with Jobin, who was such a lovely character.
The Arctic Curry Club has to be one of my favourite reads of 2021. It was perfect. So much so that I still feel disbelief that this is written by a debut author. I felt so at ease with this book and could easily imagine being there and tasting the food and enduring the cold. I personally do not think that I could have coped with the enduring cold or the endless darkness. But there was something beautiful about it at the same time. There were some dark issues covered in the book including anxiety and repressed memories but I thought these were well handled and showed how different people deal with the situation and also learning what is important for themselves. Despite this The Arctic Curry Club was a warm and comforting read. A book that was filled with delicious food and great friendships. All going on their own journey. But is ultimately a journey of discovery. I guess the only issue I had with the book the amount of food involved or the amount of curry. As I read I wished that I had had the hindsight of ordering a curry, because by the end I was desperate for one. Can I blame the author for writing so well? Probably not. I loved The Arctic Curry Club, and I think I may have found my new favourite author and cannot wait for the next.
What a wonderful winter read! I loved everything about it: the setting, the main character's personal growth, the secondary characters, the way in which mental health is treated... I just have good things to say about this book. It had some twists I didn't expect, and I couldn't stop reading but at the same time I didn't want to read it too fast because I didn't want it to end. This is the perfect read for long winter nights, and I recommend you have some Indian food near you while reading it because you're going to get very hungry! ** Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher/author for an ARC in exchange for my honest opinion. **
Following your boyfriend to the Arctic is not something to be undertaken lightly, particularly when the sun is not due to rise for 4 months, yet Maya does just that. The extreme temperature and perpetual darkness triggers her anxiety and leaves her breathless on several occasions, not least when said man lets her down in spectacular fashion but along the way Maya discovers more about herself and her family than she ever imagined. Centered around life in Longyearbyen but also jetting off to India, Maya brings colour and spice to the community as she learns more about her mum via the food she cooks- so great even the polar bears want in on it! I really enjoyed this book and was rooting for Maya all the way!
A much more serious novel than the cover would lead you to believe- and a very good one. Maya has followed her boyfriend Ryan to the Arctic, where he's studying polar bears. She's got anxiety issues which are exacerbated by the move (the darkness, the cold and so on) but then she finds a friend in and later a job with Mikkel, who relishes her cooking. Then her father, who moved her to England from Bangalore after her mother died when she was 8, announces that he's marrying Uma, a long time friend of the family. Indian recipes provided by Uma provoke unusual memories and when Maya travels to their wedding, she finally learns a long held secret that is at the root of many of her issues, She also reconnects with Jobin, now a mental health professional. Readers of this genre will not be surprised that Ryan turns out to be a rat but will be pleased to see that Maya decides to stay and work with Mikkel and Adam- creating the Curry Club and a new stronger self. I liked Maya, I liked her friend Rita, and Mikkel and Adam are a treat. No spoilers but know that nothing everything goes smoothly with the Club and that there's both a funny and a sad scene involving the kitchen. This is about grief, recovery, mental health. and so much more. I went into it expecting something quite different and found myself engrossed. Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC. I'm actually glad this didn't include recipes which would have made it feel somehow less but I'm off to order Indian food. Highly recommend.
A book looking at the impact of anxiety and lies and betrayal.. Set in the beautiful arctic Maya sets about creating her late mother's recipes however the recipes stir up a lot of emotion and memories from the past. Will Maya's time in the Arctic help with her past? I couldn't put this down and loved the contrast between India and the Arctic. A fantastic debut novel and look forward to reading more in the future.
This wasn't the light, fluffy rom com I was expecting, but sometimes it's good to be surprised. I enjoyed following Maya on her multiple journeys. When she followed her boyfriend to the arctic so he could pursue a research opportunity, it was (not surprisingly) more challenging than she expected. I debated abandoning this in the early chapters because I feared Maya was going to be a weak, one-dimensional character, but she wasn't as predictable as I had feared. She struggles with past trauma and mental illness, learns about her roots, travels to India, tries new things, stumbles a few times, and makes friends with some interesting characters along the way. *Thanks to NetGalley and Avon Books for an Advanced Readers Copy. Available to the general public 12/9/21.
I would like to thank Dani Redd and Netgalley for providing an advanced reader copy in exchange of an honest review. The Arctic Curry Club follows Maya as she moves to the Arctic with her boyfriend who studies polar bears. However, upon arriving to the arctic she realizes that the cold isn’t her only problem. After accepting a job as a chef for a tourist company she starts to attempt to reconnect to her roots through traditional Indian cuisine. However, with every dish a new memory from her forgotten past resurfaces. Will Maya survive the Arctic and come to peace with her past and create a new future? The Arctic Curry club was a joy to read and the perfect read for around the holidays. However as much as it is a sweet read it also tackles mental illness. I believe that The Arctic Curry Club does a great job of portraying mental illness. It shows how people can overcome trauma and come together and that mental illness doesn’t always have to hold people back from doing the things they love. It paints the story of a young women taking charge of her life, being independent and changing the course of her life. It’s a story of hope and struggle and shows the reality and impacts of mental illness but also how it’s possible for people to take charge of their lives again. The Arctic Curry Club fills you with emotion and gives a warm feeling. Its impossible to put down and a book you don’t want to end. A story that was ended correctly but still leaves the reader craving for the warm emotion, feeling and enjoyment of reading. Dani Redd truly has talent in writing. I am not a chef or even a fan of spicey food yet as I was reading, I understood everything like I had gone to culinary school like Maya. The descriptions and recipes filled with spice created a warm and cozy feeling. Just how the Indian food Maya cooks fills your mouth with dozens of great flavours all in the right amount so does the writing of Dani Redd and The Arctic Curry Club. It was a true pleasure to read and one that certainly went by too fast. I will be keeping a look out for Dani Redd and her books.
Thank you to the author, Avon Books UK and NetGalley, for an ARC in exchange for an honest review. The cover and the blurb led me to expect a light-hearted chicklit read, skimming by issues of belonging and identity that are a siren song to me. Instead, I got a novel with depth, exploring the said issues but also family trauma, mental illness - which was well-written - and an empowering arc of a woman finding her feet and losing her fear of taking on life. The author obviously did her research on life in the Arctic, which added an interesting layer to the mix and really took it to the next level in terms of the heroine being cast adrift in foreign territory. Character development was good, although there were some "stereotype" moments. All in all, a great read and hard to believe this is a debut - I look forward to reading more from this author.
0Maya Reed-Kaur moves to Longyearbyen with her boyfriend Ryan, who is starting a research job in the Arctic. Maya is quite an anxious person, and quickly discovers this decision wasn't the best choice for her, as she struggles with the cold and long, dark days. When she visits India for a family event, she discovers memories and parts of her she's not accessed before - leading her to make some brave life choices in her new home. Before picking this up, I had an inkling I'd enjoy it, being set in an area I know well, but I also fully thought this was going to be a chick-lit type festive read. And it surprised me! It's so much more, going into a lot of depth with mental health, as well as the glorious descriptions of the meals Maya made and the travel elements of the story. It was very clear that the author was writing from experience (or has superb research skills) and that was the star of the show for me. I really enjoyed the writing and was engaged with it from the start; I felt it offered a fresh perspective. It was easy to guess what was going to happen with each of the plot points, but that really didn't make it less enjoyable. A nice escapist read with the added bonus of an accurate description of what it's like to live with anxiety - educational! Also special mention for the cover, beautiful colours and super cute, and eye catching.
Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for an electronic copy to read and review. Oh this was such a great book! Maya suffers from panic attacks and anxiety, yet still follows her boyfriend Ryan to the Arctic. We get to see how Maya uncovers secrets from her past, including details surrounding her youth living in India and the death of her mother. This book was pure joy to read - and Maya was definitely a character to fall in love with as she grows and develops into the person she truly is.
A beautiful, uplifting book with. Gorgeous setting. Maya was a relatable and likeable main character. Her story took me on a wonderful journey. Would recommend (4 ⭐️).
Maya suffers from chronic anxiety. It is so bad that there are lots of things that she does not do just in case it all goes wrong. She has no memory of her previous life in India before her mother died, only of when she and her father came to England. When her boyfriend of two years, Ryan, gets, the opportunity to work in the Artic, she goes with him, knowing that he supports her in her needs. However, the winter darkness and extreme toll take their toll on her and some days she doesn't leave the flat. When her father tells her he is going to live in India, and is going to marry a friend of her mother, she is flabbergasted. She goes to India alone, as Ryan cannot get time off of work, and spends time with her Dad and Ume, her Step Mum to be. She has been introduced to recipes from her mother's cookbook and they start to invoke forgotten memories when she eats them. However when she speaks to her Dad about these memories he appears reluctant to discuss them. She overhears a conversation between and Uma and realises that there is more to it. Over the course of her trip to India, her calls to Ryan seem increasing abrupt and when she returns home she discovers why.. She has decisions to make in all aspects of her life. Does she shrink away again or does she take the Polar Bear by the jaws and take charge of her life? This is a very nice book and I really enjoyed reading it. Some bits you can predict, but others are a nice surprise.
After a couple of false starts I've finally read this and it was a delight. The setting of the Arctic made me want to snuggle deeper into my bed as I was reading, and the descriptions of the food made me drool! The characters were all relatable and watching Maya uncover family secrets and processing them was emotional. Thoroughly enjoyed it.
Thank you Netgalley for this ARC for an exchange for an honest review. Little gem of a book, Highly recommend it.
This was a cute read. Maya follows her boyfriend to the Arctic but struggles. After returning from a trip to India, she discovers some harsh realities, about both Ryan and her mother. I like how she started making a life for herself and not living on the periphery of everyone else. The dinner party with the surprise guest was one of the best scenes. Her heartbreaking loss was almost too much to bear, but I like how she recreated the precious loss. Be chill and read about cuisine in the cold.
I really enjoyed this book. It was easy to follow and work out who was who and what was going on. Would recommend.
From its cover you might expect a cosy Christmassy story but this certainly isn't one. It deals with family difficulties, betrayal and mental illness. Having said that, it's beautifully written, with strongly developed characters and some unexpected plot twists. The description of Longyearbyen on the Island of Spitsbergen, Norway is just how I remember it: freezing cold, isolated, lots of huskies but with welcoming people. Maya's love of cookery and her journey to find out more about her family history and why she has anxiety attacks make for a great read, though I found her frequent swearing annoying.
I read this book both as an ebook and as an audiobook, and I loved both! There's so much more to it than the blurb and the cover led me to think, and it has been a completely enjoyable and pleasurable surprise. It is definitely not a rom-com, it's actually very low on the rom side. The author decides to focus on anxiety, loss and bereavement, so we follow Maya through her journey through all of that and her successful arrival on the other side, all set in beautiful descriptions of magical landscapes and tasty recipes. I loved Maya, I could totally relate to her and her struggles, she's so real, and the author was great in relating her story with a very delicate touch. Then I loved the food, OMG, I was hungry all the time while reading it, I suggest you make sure you have snacks close by. Finally I even loved the arctic and, even though I hate cold temperatures, this book made me wish to travel there one of these days! Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for both an ARC and an ALC for an honest review.
When Maya’s boyfriend Ryan moves to the Arctic for work, she comes along for the ride, only to find herself half frozen most of the time with extreme anxiety and a boyfriend who is acting suspiciously. She welcomes the opportunity to escape to her Dad’s wedding in India where she learns more about her mother and fantastic recipes. Little does Maya know that when she returns to the Arctic her life is about to change for good… I really enjoyed the Artic Curry Club! I love it when a book surprises me and this one certainly did - it wasn’t that book I thought it was when I read the blurb - it was different but even better than I imagined. I really appreciated the authentic portrayal of life with anxiety, as someone who has experienced it. Maya is a fantastic character who I warmed to really quickly. She is very relatable and funny. The transformation she undergoes in the story is perfect, with an ending that is spot on. In fact, every character in the book is well written and interesting and very likeable, with the obvious exception of feckless Ryan! The plot is expertly crafted with lots of different storylines which keep you reading on to see what happens next. Not only that it’s a foodie’s dream with mouthwatering descriptions of the recipes Maya makes and the memories they invoke. Yes, if definitely made me want a curry. I would certainly recommend this book to my book group and the fellow bookworms in my life. It’s a fantastic read, especially over the winter when the frosts hit and you can close your eyes and imagine you are in the Artic with Maya. Thank you so much Dani Redd, Avon publishing and Netgalley for the opportunity to review an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.