A Novel with Nainital as the Backdrop

Just this morning I found a nice review of my novel ‘Nude besides the Lake’ at amazon .com. I would like to share it with visitors to this blog.
Me (in Jacket) and others beside a lake of Nainital District - Sattal

A Satisfying Read July 22, 2012

Nude besides the Lake is a delightful tale of discovery (and rediscovery), friendship, and cooperation and the great things that can be achieved by acts of generosity and respect. There are no bad guys here. It is not a world of conflict and despair. The world that author Ashok Malhotra paints of life in the beautiful mountains & lakes country in northern India is both mesmerizing and alluring. His story introduces details of Indian life, philosophy, spirituality, and culture from the homespun perspective of those who call Nainital home. There is even sensitive tribute to Indian history and British influences. And through it all one can almost smell the dust kicked up by the monsoons and the fragrant roses, magnolias, and almond trees of which he writes. I dare anyone to read this tale and not thereafter want to visit and even spend awhile in that lovely and amazing part of the world.

While reading the story, two other novels came to mind as they share a similar quality of the good things that kindness and sharing can accomplish. The first is Zorba the Greek with its storyline of a young man who returns to Greece and begins to build a local life for himself with the valued assistance of the village drunk who is full of life. While doing so, the hero connects with, and even positively influences, the lives of many of the locals. The other story is Under the Tuscan Sun where a young American woman moves to Tuscany Italy, buys a villa, and during the remodeling and renovating of it encounters the locals and imparts much of her positive spirit on them, and they on her. While Nude besides the Lake is most assuredly not modeled on either of these two stories, one cannot help but be drawn into the story in a similar way as the hero goes about settling in the strange and exotic land of his Indian grandfather.

Nude besides the Lake is a satisfying read with a good ending (if somewhat of a tease of even more to come). Ashok Malhotra has a distinctive voice that tells an engaging and delightful tale that will please readers who are tired of stories that assault the senses with conflict and calamity. It is a pleasant adventure. If you are like me, you will be sad when you reach the end and will replay much of the story over again in your head. Or maybe you'll just wait awhile and then read it again. That's my plan.


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