The Cloudburst by Raj Naiksatam
📚 📚 📚 / 5
After fifteen-year-old Ganpu Aapla and his parents lose everything they own, including their beautiful ancestral home in Katalveldurwadi Dabhol, India, to a forced takeover by America’s Enrone Corporation, they move to Mumbai in search of justice. Ganpu’s family takes up residence in a temporary shack that doubles as a chai shop near the Bandra Kurla Complex in a Mumbai suburb.One day during monsoon season, when Ganpu’s parents are out working, a harmless drizzle suddenly turns into a torrential downpour, which quickly floods the streets.Julie, Rick, James, and Saira, four international students whose parents all live in India, are supposed to be taking a boat trip to the Elephant Caves, but the unexpected cloudburst dampens their plans. After the tour group heads back to land, their guide leaves them with a stranger—a local teacher named Anu—at a bus stop while he looks for help. Local teens Siva, Javed, and Xinmin, enthralled by the Mumbai rains, decide to venture out into the city instead of going straight home after school and find themselves also stranded at the bus stop. This ragtag group of mixed classes, races, and genders is forced to seek shelter with one another in Ganpu’s family’s shop. While they wait, the intensity of the rain increases, threatening their survival. With no way of contacting their frantic parents, the group reluctantly waits together to be rescued.When it appears an outside rescue might be impossible, Ganpu wholly commits to saving the lives of his guests despite their distrust of him, a lowly roadside hawker. In order for his plan to work, though, he must destroy his family’s only home and livelihood, while each one of the stranded must overcome personal demons and prejudices.Terrified and left with no other way out, Anu must conquer her own fears and motivate the kids to work together, or else the whole crew will face certain death.This thrilling, edge-of-your-seat story demonstrates how courage, heart, and integrity is necessary to change our lives and the world around us.
Thank you to the author, who sent me a copy of ‘The Cloudburst’ in exchange for an honest review.
I received no compensation for this review.
Thank you to the author, who sent me a copy of ‘The Cloudburst’ in exchange for an honest review. I received no compensation for this review.
Hiya bookish people!
As someone who doesn’t know a lot about the Mumbai floods . . . this book made me feel scared, threatened, and hopeful along with the characters. The plot was strong and captivating, and while there were tiny little side adventures or little paths going off from it, I didn’t feel jerked around or misled before going back to the main point, which sometimes feels like a very common thing. I was stuck in a reading loop, unable to put it down. I wanted more and more and more and more and then it ended. Just like that. Remember the ending to The Fault in Our Stars? I had the same feeling of incompletion. The ending could have been so much stronger with another two or three pages, but instead I got the slight impression that by the end, the author just wanted it to be over.
The chapters are rather short, meaning I felt like I was making heaps of progress and making the points of the story really punchy.
When I first read that this book had nine main characters, I was worried. How can an author give all nine main characters their own personalities? Will there be favouritism? And the answer is no. All the characters were fleshed out super well and I was amazed at the talent that Naiksatam has shown. This book could easily be used for a report in school, as it just has that much story and meaning to it.
Overall, this isn’t a book I would normally pick up for myself, however I really enjoyed it. If you’re looking for an easy yet captivating read, this is it.