An American expatriate connects with a girl from the streets while living in India.
In this novel, Breece (Finding This Place, 2009) draws on her own experiences as a globe-trotting executive in creating the character of Claire Kaine. Claire moves to India in 1995 to build … “a telecom system that will revolutionize communications in Mumbai.” As Claire finds her way around Mumbai, she encounters a group of street children and forms a bond with one, a 3-year-old who answers to Shakti. The broadly focused narrative moves between Claire’s story and those of Shakti, whose father abandoned her once a son was born, and her protector, Radeeka, who started living on the streets after her parents’ deaths…. Breece presents a detailed portrait of India from a Westerner’s perspective. (“The mass of humanity teeming beyond the hotel entrance, a cacophony of horns blaring in the intense dusty heat, buses, taxis, scooters, trucks, auto rickshaws, and men shouting behind ox carts”), emphasizing the striking aspects of the colorful setting. The result is an engaging and uplifting tale of family, identity, and place.
An enjoyable love story that explores family, self-discovery, and the ties between personal and professional success.
Kala’s Choice provides a vivid glimpse into a complex culture filled with both love and despair. I couldn’t stop thinking about this book long after I finished. Marcia Breece presents the rich world that is India with grace, honesty, and authenticity.
Tess Taft, MSW, LICSW
In this absorbing novel, you end up caring deeply about the characters. Kala’s Choice is a fictional story built out of realities, and reminds me of the years I spent in India. Authentic moments of resilience and happiness are touching, satisfying, and global.
Patricia Lennox, Ph.D.
Lecturer, The Gallatin School, NYU