Author: Sweta Srivastava Vikram
Length: 254 pages
***THIS BOOK WAS RECEIVED FROM THE AUTHOR***
At a time when the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements are at their peak, a book like Louisiana Catch is poised to address something that many American’s might choose to ignore: abuse of women in foreign countries. Sure, there’s sexual harassment in the United States, but in other cultures where there is a firm patriarchy in control, there are much more severe issues like throwing acid and marital rape. While Louisiana Catch does cover these abuses in the context of India, there are other elements to the story that distracts from the impact of overcoming past abuse.
First of all, Louisiana Catch is a somewhat misleading title, since most of the action happens in either New York City or New Delhi. Sure, there’s some amount of Louisiana in the characters, and the women’s conference is held in New Orleans (not sure why, since New York would have been a better fit), but the focus of the story is hardly on Louisiana. Don’t let the stock-photo cover fool you either, as this book is more about an Indian woman coming to terms with her past and breaking away from the shame and fear of an abusive former marriage.
As for the characters themselves, we don’t need a cast list at the start of the book, since they are all pretty well developed, even if it borders on cliché in many instances. The buxom main character (who surprisingly doesn’t have any back pain from her ample chest) follows the traditional romance genre tropes, especially when it comes to the love interest of Rohan (who was probably the best character in the book). The middle section felt a little disjointed as the laundry list of why the online friend was terrible, and the love interest was great kept being pounded home, almost in a Lifetime movie fashion. At least the somewhat predictable end of the novel was a satisfying conclusion.
A book with a powerful statement that gets a little lost in clichés and tropes, I give Louisiana Catch 3.5 stars out of 5.