Kintsugi by Anukriti Upadhyay

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Last year, I had read Bhaunri by Anukrti Upadhyay and loved it. So, I went into this one with high expectations. And by the time I finished reading it, I had mixed feelings.

Kintsugi is set in two countries-India and Japan. It follows Haruko, a young Japanese woman who travels to Rajasthan to learn the traditional art of metalwork from the artisans there. Meanwhile, Meena, a young Indian woman lives in Japan and has no intention of going back to her very conservative family, and her fiance. Leela, a goldsmith’s daughter back in India, is inspired by Haruko to break traditional gender roles and follow her father’s footsteps with his craft. Yuri, a young Japanese woman who becomes Meena’s friend and lover leads a complicated life, as does Hajime, another Japanese person Meena encounters.

I thought Kintsugi was an interesting read. Anukrti Upadhyay’s writing is truly engrossing. At the same time, this very short novel felt incomplete. There were too many characters, who were connected by a very loose thread. I would have loved to read a novel that focused solely on Haruko’s and Leela’s lives as their stories were the ones I felt were the most interesting.

Rating: 3.5/5

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