Review – Dynamite by Ravinder Randhawa
When the lovely Faye Rogers announced that she was hosting a blog tour for the books Dynamite and Beauty and the Beast by Ravinder Randhawa I jumped at the chance to be a part of it as soon as I read the blurbs! These books sounded so interesting and diverse that I really wanted to see what they were all about. I am completely over the moon to be part of the wonderful blog tour for these books and I am so happy I have had the chance to read them!
For my first stop on this brilliant blog tour I am going to share my thoughts on the collection of short stories in the book Dynamite!
You can also check out my review of Beauty and the Beast by Ravinder Randhawa here !
Don’t forget to check out the awesome giveaway at the bottom of the post!
Collection of short stories: Fun, feisty, tender and wry. Full of imagination and originality, stories of innocence and experience, British-Asianess and life’s haunting complexity. From kick-ass heroines to mysterious spacecraft; the heartache of first love to the inheritance of history; the echo of distant war zones to treacherous boyfriends; riots and violent murder.
Publisher – CreateSpace
Published – 29th September 2014
Pages – 132 pages
Format – Paperback & Ebook
Category – Short Stories
Source – I was sent a copy of this book by the lovely Faye Roger and the author Ravinder Randhawa as part of the blog tour. This does not affect my review or my opinions in any way and am delighted to write an honest review. Thank you both for sending this to me to read!
** Please note Tales Of Yesterday Reviews are written as spoiler free as possible**
Dynamite is a wonderful collection of fun and tender stories all told from the point of view of strong Asian women. Prior to reading Dynamite I fully put my hands up here and admit that I had not yet read ANY other books by Ravinda Randhawa! But after reading this collection of short stories this is soon to be rectified as it left me craving more!
I always ensure that my reading in general includes diversity. It’s important and I really do believe that we need more diverse books out there so we can learn from characters experiences or feel not so alone when we find a character is just like us. Dynamite for me champions diversity and opened my mind to a culture and traditions I knew little about and I thoroughly enjoyed it!
With this book I have been taken on a thrilling journey to find a missing diamond and a mysterious spacecraft! I have read about first love and traditions, family values and missing family. My heart has been broken reading about riots, murder and racism. I have also been intrigued by mystery, but most of all I have been on a journey with this book with such a wide range of diverse characters it really is a must read.
This story is about family and a fictional society. About a mother who was outcaste from her own family for breaking tradition and what her family believed in and about a daughter that to help find her missing brother strives to teach her mother that the world as changed. This is a story that emphasises what tradition and cultures mean to people and although the tradition of the majkari sets are fictional in this story you get a good sense of value and what these sets mean to the characters and their lives.
This was one of my favourites. A story of first love, how it feels to be in love and betrayal. After falling for the boy who’s Dad is the richest guy in town and nicknamed Goldfinger due to the amount of gold chains and rings he wears India learns about love, hope and heartbreak. The traditions of love and marriage are very much the forefront in this story and it is written so beautifully.
Again another one of my favourites. This story is fictional but based on real life events in Southall in the late 70’s about a racist attack and murder. It brings racism and politics to the forefront with the main character Sunni striving to help others in her commuinity and the terrifying problems she encounters from racists, a boy and the police. My heart was fully captured by this story and I felt the feelings of the main character so much. A very powerful and moving story.
This story took me on a journey to find the precious Diamond of Diamonds which carries a story, a legend of a woman’s treachery and betrayal from many years before. When the Diamond of Diamonds goes missing it’s down to our main character, a kick-ass lawyer turned super thief to plot and plan to steal the diamond back to it’s rightful place before it gets into the wrong hands forever! This story was fun and oh so enjoyable! For me it brought to the forefront of how much legend really does live on once it is created, time after time, year after year. Is the legend true or has it changed over time to become a story?
This is a love story about the possibility of taking chances with the main character dealing with lots of feelings, emotions and decisions to make. It makes you question that maybe we are not as free as we think we are and that in life we have choices which gradually reduce. It actually made me really think long after finishing this story about how life can take different turns by the choices we make and the chances we may sometimes miss and let pass by.
The Maharanis House
A kind of mystery story of a house full of mystery and intrigue set in the 1980’s. A successful well off couple move into a new house, in a new neighbourhood and appear to have everything they could possibly want, living comfortably. They are intrigued by an over grown house that is a bit of an eye sore in the community and as the story develops the story of the old house unfolds through journalists, neighbourhood gossip and finally the preparation for demolition of the house. This story was different as it contained short flashbacks to when the mysterious house was lived in by a possible Maharani (the wife of a king of India) and it was intriguing to gain glimpses into the past and then into the present again and I could really imagine the house in it’s previous former glory back in it’s day.
This story is about a girl who has had a psychic extra-terrestrial out of body experience which came as rather a surprise, but changed her out look on her life. It details a families struggles in the world and when things do not work out as planned or hoped. Can we really follow our dreams and be happy? It’s a very thought provoking story.
Its so hard to pick a favourite story out of this collection. I really did love them all and they are all so individual. I think I managed to whittle down to my favourite 3…no 4… you see my point. If I had to pick a favourite it would be between Sunni and India as I really connected with the characters and really felt how they were feeling and what they were experiencing and this was down to the wonderful writing style!
So there we have it! I highly recommend reading this collection a real treasure and champion of diversity!
I award this book 4 out of 5 Tales Of Yesterday Books!
You can buy Dynamite by Ravinda Randhawa here
Or why not add it to your Goodreads wish list here
You can also check out my review of Ravinder Randhawa’s Beauty and the Beast here
Or a fab poetry guest post by Ravinder Randhawa here
You can also check out a guest post from Ravinder about her favourite scenes in her other book The Coral Strand here
About Ravinda Randhawa
Ravinder Randhawa is the acclaimed author of the novels Beauty and the Beast (YA), A Wicked Old Woman, The Tiger’s Smile and the short story collection Dynamite. She’s currently working on a trilogy: The Fire-Magician. Ravinder was a Royal Literary Fund Fellow at Toynbee Hall, Queen Mary’s University, the University of London, and founded the Asian Women Writer’s Collective.
Ravinder was born in India, grew up in leafy Warwickshire, now lives in London and agrees with Samuel Johnson’s saying (though of course, in a gender non-specific way) ‘…if a man is tired of London, he is tired of life.’ Loves good coffee and really good thrillers.
Ravinder Randhawa Blog Tour
Why not follow or catch up on the rest of this wonderful blog tour!
Link to Tour Schedule
Monday 25th May
Tuesday 26th May
Wednesday 27th May
Thursday 28th May
Friday 29th May
Saturday 30th May
Sunday 31st May
There is a tour-wide giveaway during the tour.
The prizes include;
3 Paperback copies of Dynamite
Have you read Dynamite or any other books by Ravinda Randhawa? What did you think? I would love to hear from you! Why not leave a comment using the reply button at the top of the page or tweet me on twitter using @chelleytoy !
Happy Reading….go pick up a copy of this book straight away!