The Storyteller's Secret
From the bestselling author of Trail of Broken Wings comes an epic story of the unrelenting force of love, the power of healing, and the invincible desire to dream. Nothing prepares Jaya, a New York journalist, for the heartbreak of her third miscarriage and the slow unraveling of her marriage in its wake. Desperate to assuage her deep anguish, she decides to go to India to uncover answers to her family’s past.Intoxicated by the sights, smells, and sounds she experiences, Jaya becomes an eager student of the culture. But it is Ravi—her grandmother’s former servant and trusted confidant—who reveals the resilience, struggles, secret love, and tragic fall of Jaya’s pioneering grandmother during the British occupation. Through her courageous grandmother’s arrestingly romantic and heart-wrenching story, Jaya discovers the legacy bequeathed to her and a strength that, until now, she never knew was possible.

The Storyteller's Secret Details

TitleThe Storyteller's Secret
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseSep 1st, 2018
PublisherLake Union Publishing
ISBN-139781542048279
Rating
GenreFiction, Historical, Historical Fiction, Cultural, India, Contemporary

The Storyteller's Secret Review

  • Betsy Renzetti
    January 1, 1970
    This is the book of the summer for me. I felt like i was right there in India with Jaya. I had to read this book in one day. Now i have to find a book that comes up to its excellence. Wonderful story, written sooooo well.
  • Barbara
    January 1, 1970
    This was my choice for this month's free Amazon prime book and I was very disappointed. If you know nothing about India or Indian culture and you don't mind a very predictable book with few twists or turns, then I'm sure it's an acceptable novel. If you do know even the basics about India then you'll soon spot it's a bit of a mess.Jaya lives in America and decides to take a trip to India after suffering her third miscarriage and the breakdown of her marriage. She's responding to a letter her mot This was my choice for this month's free Amazon prime book and I was very disappointed. If you know nothing about India or Indian culture and you don't mind a very predictable book with few twists or turns, then I'm sure it's an acceptable novel. If you do know even the basics about India then you'll soon spot it's a bit of a mess.Jaya lives in America and decides to take a trip to India after suffering her third miscarriage and the breakdown of her marriage. She's responding to a letter her mother received from Jaya's grandfather asking her to return to India and learn something about his wife. If Jaya's mother won't go - and she clearly won't - then Jaya figures a bit of India might be just what she needs. By the time Jaya arrives, her grandfather has gone and she's left with her grandmother's friend and servant, Ravi, to tell her about the past.Nothing about this book rings true. My irritation started with Jaya arriving at an airport whose description is completely unrealistic. You don't find beggars INSIDE an Indian airport (it's not a railway station) and they don't call an NRI woman 'memsahib'. I've been going to India for over 25 years as a white European and I've never heard the word used. She takes a 'rickshaw' for 45 minutes - even assuming she means an autorickshaw or tuk tuk, most airports don't allow them to pick up. She looks out of the 'open window' - despite autorickshaws and cycle rickshaws having no windows. She comments about scarves that would cost hundreds of dollars in the USA costing '5 rupees'. It's all just fantasy. I can't help but wonder if she has even been to India. I think this is set in the late 1980s or 1990s because nobody has a mobile phone - yet Jaya is supposed to be writing a blog. Blogs didn't exist at that time. If it's supposed to be a current day story, then Jaya logically would too old to be going through all her miscarriages. It's all very inconsistent. That's all just in the first few chapters. The errors in the grandmother's story are even more extreme. Her grandmother is supposed to be a simple girl who only had a few years of schooling in Hindi but she speaks English with a bizarre eloquence despite not being able to write or read a word of the language. She invites an untouchable into her in-laws' house and nobody makes a particularly big deal about it. She spends hours alone and unchaperoned with a British soldier and again, nobody makes a big deal about it. The whole thing is fine if you don't care that it's totally unfeasible. Did I mention it's also completely predictable? Maybe I did. I read a LOT of books by Indian writers and books set in India and this is third-rate. Sorry - I've read reviews that people loved it, but I didn't. I really didn't.
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  • Sandi Mooney
    January 1, 1970
    This one came up as an August Prime First Reads. I recognized the author, I loved her first book, Trail of Broken Wings so I jumped on it immediately. Read it over just a couple days and loved this one too. A story of 3 women, grandmother, daughter and granddaughter, all facing different obstacles. It drew me in and I could hardly put it down.
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  • Susan
    January 1, 1970
    August's First Reads selection - Amazon 2018
  • Molly
    January 1, 1970
    So good. What will I do now? This is one of those books that I didn’t want to end. I felt like I was friends with the characters. I felt their joy and pain. 💛📚
  • Anastasia Thompson
    January 1, 1970
    Fantastic read! I don’t even know how to put into words all of the feelings this book gave me. It made me happy and joyful, but then sad and heartbroken. The characters are deeply written and as a reader, I cared for them and the struggles that they faced. There are many stories weaved into one, but the two main stories are about Jaya, a woman who has been broken by miscarriages when all she desires is a child and about Amisha, her grandmother whom she never got to meet. The lush details of life Fantastic read! I don’t even know how to put into words all of the feelings this book gave me. It made me happy and joyful, but then sad and heartbroken. The characters are deeply written and as a reader, I cared for them and the struggles that they faced. There are many stories weaved into one, but the two main stories are about Jaya, a woman who has been broken by miscarriages when all she desires is a child and about Amisha, her grandmother whom she never got to meet. The lush details of life in English occupied India intertwined with the modern poverty, help tell a tale of a place that has gone through many changes. I think it was important to read about what life is like there, especially coming from a privileged American background. I was extremely moved by this book. I couldn’t put it down wanted to continuously delve into Jaya’s and Amisha’s stories. I felt their joys and sorrows. The best way to appreciate what you have is to hear the stories of your ancestors. I highly recommend taking the journey with Jaya as she hears the stories of her past.
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  • Diane D White
    January 1, 1970
    GratitudeThere so much good to say in even a short review of this wonderful book. To an American woman in the 21st century, it's educational, even revelatory. Like Jaya herself, I take largely for granted my freedom to achieve and be whom I desire to be. This story teaches me what Jaya learned: my freedoms as a woman are not available to millions of other women on this Earth. I show gratitude best by honoring the blessing of receiving so many opportunities to pursue my potential. The novel educa GratitudeThere so much good to say in even a short review of this wonderful book. To an American woman in the 21st century, it's educational, even revelatory. Like Jaya herself, I take largely for granted my freedom to achieve and be whom I desire to be. This story teaches me what Jaya learned: my freedoms as a woman are not available to millions of other women on this Earth. I show gratitude best by honoring the blessing of receiving so many opportunities to pursue my potential. The novel educates me also about Indian culture and rapid societal change in the past century. I found that content unexpectedly interesting. I am not curious about India and would not seek out such information, so I'm grateful for this fringe benefit of Badani's engrossing and poignant tale.
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  • Ieva
    January 1, 1970
    Thought-provoking and involving.The plot of this story was predictable in the sense that one could tell where it was likely to lead as one learned more of the lives of the characters in it. Somehow this didn't seem to matter, in fact it seemed to confirm the authenticity of the story. Yes, it was a bit far-fetched and yes even almost melodramatic but the sense of place felt very real to someone who has never considered visiting India, let alone been there. I chose this book from this month's Kin Thought-provoking and involving.The plot of this story was predictable in the sense that one could tell where it was likely to lead as one learned more of the lives of the characters in it. Somehow this didn't seem to matter, in fact it seemed to confirm the authenticity of the story. Yes, it was a bit far-fetched and yes even almost melodramatic but the sense of place felt very real to someone who has never considered visiting India, let alone been there. I chose this book from this month's Kindle first selection even though I didn't feel particularly drawn to it from the brief description, I just felt less put off than by the other 5 choices. having finished, I am glad I read this beautifully crafted story.
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  • Melissa Gibbon
    January 1, 1970
    A beautiful novel of self discovery.This novel is different from the ones I usually read. I am so glad I read this story. I couldn't put it down. If you enjoy stories that incorporate other cultures, you will wholeheartedly love this novel. After struggling with her own losses, Jaya travels to India to meet a dying grandfather she never knew. When arriving after his death, she spends time with Javi, a servant that was befriended by her late grandmother. He tells Jaya Amisha's story, and in the p A beautiful novel of self discovery.This novel is different from the ones I usually read. I am so glad I read this story. I couldn't put it down. If you enjoy stories that incorporate other cultures, you will wholeheartedly love this novel. After struggling with her own losses, Jaya travels to India to meet a dying grandfather she never knew. When arriving after his death, she spends time with Javi, a servant that was befriended by her late grandmother. He tells Jaya Amisha's story, and in the process of this journey Jaya is able to rediscover herself and strengthen the relationships between herself and her husband as well as her own mother. It is truly a beautiful story that will make anyone reevaluate their blessings.
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  • Karla
    January 1, 1970
    I got this as an Amazon Kindle first. It was a perfect summer read. It was engaging and a very quick read. There was only one thing which I found a bit annoying. The constant inner dialogue of Jaya and her miscarriages. I don't need to be reminded EVERYTIME Jaya begins to narrate that she's had multiple miscarriages and she's still grieving for it, because of that I found the chapters on Amisha much more enjoyable. I especially liked Amisha has a character, she was strong willed and always tried I got this as an Amazon Kindle first. It was a perfect summer read. It was engaging and a very quick read. There was only one thing which I found a bit annoying. The constant inner dialogue of Jaya and her miscarriages. I don't need to be reminded EVERYTIME Jaya begins to narrate that she's had multiple miscarriages and she's still grieving for it, because of that I found the chapters on Amisha much more enjoyable. I especially liked Amisha has a character, she was strong willed and always tried to do right even when it wasn't seen as such by others. Overall I enjoyed it very much, the ending was perhaps a bit rushed but it ended nicely and I would recommend it.
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  • Patricia
    January 1, 1970
    Storytelling at Its Best! By Pat PressThis book is a gift for all who love good narratives. There are heroes and villains, sad struggles , sweet victories, luscious descriptions, and quiet, deep friendships. The author carries you on a faithful journey into lost generations of an Indian family to explain and validate the present lives of her characters. On top of all that storytelling expertise, there are life lessons, carefully inserted, to enhance the true art of this narrative. Readers, prepa Storytelling at Its Best! By Pat PressThis book is a gift for all who love good narratives. There are heroes and villains, sad struggles , sweet victories, luscious descriptions, and quiet, deep friendships. The author carries you on a faithful journey into lost generations of an Indian family to explain and validate the present lives of her characters. On top of all that storytelling expertise, there are life lessons, carefully inserted, to enhance the true art of this narrative. Readers, prepare to shed some tears and smile to yourself as you breeze through this fine novel of life, love, and inner strength.
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  • Erika
    January 1, 1970
    So many kinds of loveAt first the characters didn't make me love them. Now I can't pick a favorite. The story drew me in in ways I didn't expect. I won't summarize, as I don't like those. If you want to lose yourself in a beautiful story, The Storyteller's Secret will satisfy. Sejal Badani fills the book with so many kinds of love - love of home, love of tradition and culture, love of family, romantic love, forbidden love, and the true appreciation of respect and loyalty that comes from the deep So many kinds of loveAt first the characters didn't make me love them. Now I can't pick a favorite. The story drew me in in ways I didn't expect. I won't summarize, as I don't like those. If you want to lose yourself in a beautiful story, The Storyteller's Secret will satisfy. Sejal Badani fills the book with so many kinds of love - love of home, love of tradition and culture, love of family, romantic love, forbidden love, and the true appreciation of respect and loyalty that comes from the deepest love of friendship.
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  • Patricia
    January 1, 1970
    A tale of love, loss, duty, and survival as Amisha's secrets are revealed to her granddaughter Jaya by the family servant, Ravi. As the story unfolds Jaya sees that women in British ruled India had very few options as they navigated through life. Amisha's choices impacted her daughter Lena (Jaya's mother) as a child and an adult.There is anti-British sentiment but two of Amisha's sons moved to England and one to Australia (a Commonwealth member). The book touches on the caste system and extreme A tale of love, loss, duty, and survival as Amisha's secrets are revealed to her granddaughter Jaya by the family servant, Ravi. As the story unfolds Jaya sees that women in British ruled India had very few options as they navigated through life. Amisha's choices impacted her daughter Lena (Jaya's mother) as a child and an adult.There is anti-British sentiment but two of Amisha's sons moved to England and one to Australia (a Commonwealth member). The book touches on the caste system and extreme poverty in India.No graphic sex or violence
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  • Jill Urie
    January 1, 1970
    I enjoyed this. Was it perfect? No. Was it perfectly accurate? No. A little predictable? Yup. Did I guess early on what the 'Storyteller's secret' was? Yep. But, despite all that, I enjoyed this book. I was sucked in. I was gripped by Ravi's tale of Amisha and their friendship. I found it very compelling. And man, did it make me grateful for the day and time I live in. I will admit that Jaya's sections we're not as interesting to me and I tended to skim them. So while this was not a perfect book I enjoyed this. Was it perfect? No. Was it perfectly accurate? No. A little predictable? Yup. Did I guess early on what the 'Storyteller's secret' was? Yep. But, despite all that, I enjoyed this book. I was sucked in. I was gripped by Ravi's tale of Amisha and their friendship. I found it very compelling. And man, did it make me grateful for the day and time I live in. I will admit that Jaya's sections we're not as interesting to me and I tended to skim them. So while this was not a perfect book, I still enjoyed it. And the story, though sad, is also very hopeful.
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  • Penny
    January 1, 1970
    Encompassing several generations of tradition, changing cultures and history, the characters are well drawn so we can see their lives through their eyes. Touching deeply on the heartbreak of infertility, the heartbreak of growing up in a loveless home, the heartbreak of having no good choices, and the heartbreak of living with the results of decisions made, this story pulls you in and doesn't let you go until the last word on the last page. Buy it, read it, (blow your nose and wipe your tears), Encompassing several generations of tradition, changing cultures and history, the characters are well drawn so we can see their lives through their eyes. Touching deeply on the heartbreak of infertility, the heartbreak of growing up in a loveless home, the heartbreak of having no good choices, and the heartbreak of living with the results of decisions made, this story pulls you in and doesn't let you go until the last word on the last page. Buy it, read it, (blow your nose and wipe your tears), and share it with someone you love.
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  • Victoria Robinson
    January 1, 1970
    Better than expectedNot something I would normally read, picked from the first reads from amazon. I was pleasantly surprised it's full of culture, emotions and joy. The characters were fleshed out well and likeable. I also liked the fact that when flipping between time zones and stories, it wasn't chapter to chapter but a lump of chapters before moving on. I felt this really allowed me to stay on track with the book and not get confused. Overall a good insight to things we take for granted nowad Better than expectedNot something I would normally read, picked from the first reads from amazon. I was pleasantly surprised it's full of culture, emotions and joy. The characters were fleshed out well and likeable. I also liked the fact that when flipping between time zones and stories, it wasn't chapter to chapter but a lump of chapters before moving on. I felt this really allowed me to stay on track with the book and not get confused. Overall a good insight to things we take for granted nowadays and, a wonderful ending.
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  • Linda F. Inouye
    January 1, 1970
    A Really Good Read!!I found this book totally engrossing. I learned a bit more of India and felt Jaya's pain for her miscarriages and her inability to share her pain with her husband. I understood her confusion about her mother. Her behavior was a learned reaction to her upbringing. She finally got to understand her mother. It's almost midnight here and I'm glad I finally got to finish the book. I thoroughly enjoyed it.
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  • Shunthea North
    January 1, 1970
    Excellent story!!!This story truly pulled at my heartstrings! I could not put this book down once I started reading it. It is a story of love, arranged marriages, a caste system that divides a nation, yet it shows how the acts of one woman defies this caste system as she chose to follow her heart. However, she chose to remain in an arranged marriage for the sake of her children, denying herself the love she desired to keep her family together.
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  • Mary Payne
    January 1, 1970
    The Storytellers secretThis is the most amazing story I have read in some time. The characters from both the past and the future bring the reader into their very presence. It also reveals a way of life at the time of the Raj from the eyes of the Indian people. The final chapters had me weeping with both sadness and joy.
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  • DeEdra
    January 1, 1970
    This was a page Turner. It had me hooked after a few pages, trying to figure out what the secret was. It was a great novel of a woman who was dealing with loss of miscarriages and not understanding her own mother and the disconnect she has always had with her. She learns about her mother's mother and the culture of her past.
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  • Dianne Garber
    January 1, 1970
    Finding rootsThis is one of my favorite books of the year! Jaya travels to India after 3 miscarriages and a possible divorce. She meets Ravi who tells her stories of her grandmother Amisha and through the stories and her stay in India she begins to know herself and her own mother.
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  • Barbara Bingham
    January 1, 1970
    I read it in a day!As I finish reading, I wonder how many untold lives have been wasted and ruined needlessly, trying to fit into "man-made" silly and destructive "traditions"? Wonderfully written with many surprises on pages to follow, it was difficult to put it down. Thank you, Sejal Badani! Highly recommended!
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  • Melissa Burton
    January 1, 1970
    Beautiful and descriptive!I enjoyed this book. I loved the emotion conveyed through each character. I loved learning about India and their customs. I was in tears at different points in the book. Her writing really gets to your soul and transforms you to the place in the book! Absolutely recommend!!
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  • Gail A.
    January 1, 1970
    This book is brilliant and heart wrenching. A story of the prison of religion and culture, of family, hope, friendship, love and forgiveness. The journey to India Jaya bravely embarks upon in search of her heritage and secrets hiding in the fabric of lives never known is powerful and life-giving., A must read for any one searching for truth.
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  • Lanie
    January 1, 1970
    THIS BOOK IS WORTH 10 ⭐ I read a lot of books but I don’t know the last time I was so moved by a family tale. Following Jaya from her heartbreak in New York to learning her family’s history in India was so moving and enlightening. Please read The Storyteller’s Secret. This is an author who knows how to weave a tale. THIS BOOK IS WORTH 10 ⭐️ I read a lot of books but I don’t know the last time I was so moved by a family tale. Following Jaya from her heartbreak in New York to learning her family’s history in India was so moving and enlightening. Please read The Storyteller’s Secret. This is an author who knows how to weave a tale.
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  • Mary Ann
    January 1, 1970
    Fantastic!I couldn't put it down! The immersion into the character's lives and India was subtle and powerful. Thank you to Sejal Badani for a beautifully crafted story. I'll be thinking about this book for some time. Also , I'll recommend this and her first novel to others.
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  • Sandra Bufton
    January 1, 1970
    An uplifting storyI chose this story because I love stories about India. This story is a eye opener to make us grateful for the lives we live and what we have. It's a heartfelt story of love it's a must read. It's happy and sad but it makes you think. I loved it and read it in one sitting. It's a beautiful story.
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  • Kyla Magar
    January 1, 1970
    Well-worth the readAgainst a backdrop of clashing yet mingling cultures, a story is revealed. Love, pain, joy, despair, betrayal, understanding, sacrifice. So much life in one story. So much s revealed about the characters' lives and, therefore, so much to measure against your own. You will not regret this one.
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  • Laura E Pistey
    January 1, 1970
    A must readIf you enjoy stories that speak to relationships, you will love this book. The story transports you into family life with emotional ups and downs. It is enriched with cultural traditions and taboos that help the reader to comprehend the time period. Enjoy this fabulous book.
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  • J&S Rosten
    January 1, 1970
    Poignant, powerful storyAlaska's sorry unfolds bridging 3 generations of women together across continents. It is a journey, a destination, and a path through pain. The author skillfully paints the characters and settings until I feel I have walked the journey with this family and have become a different person in the process
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