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Official Review: Goodbye Bombay by Gry Finsnes

Please use this forum to discuss historical fiction books. Common definitions define historical fiction as novels written at least 25-50 years after the book's setting.

Official Review: Goodbye Bombay by Gry Finsnes

Post Number:#1 by Serena [Poetree]
» 29 Jul 2016, 14:12

[Following is the official OnlineBookClub.org review of "Goodbye Bombay" by Gry Finsnes.]

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2 out of 4 stars
Review by Serena [Poetree]
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Goodbye Bombay gives readers a captivating glimpse into the life of an expat in India during the 1980s.

When a loved one ends up at the hospital in a coma, Christine’s friend Phoebe comes over to take her mind off the situation by asking about her life in India. Christine reluctantly begins a detailed account of what happened after she, her husband, and their young daughter moved to India for her husband’s work—the places they visited, the people they met, and the relationships that formed and twisted and shattered.

The book has an interesting structure, being almost entirely dialogue. The present-day is narrated by Christine in first person present tense, and her story in India, of course, is told through conversation with Phoebe and a few moments of silent reminiscing. While Phoebe’s interjections—comments, questions, etc.—do help keep the dialogue feeling realistic, Christine often recounts specific details and even entire conversations that make her tale sound too scripted

However, Christine’s story is easy to get swept up in. Gry Fisnes really pulled me in, almost as if I were in India, or at least listening along with Phoebe. Vivid, colorful imagery brings to life narratives of beautiful landscapes, formal gatherings, and many small adventures. And food! From a mushroom omelet with tomato salad in Britain to curries, naan, and samosas in India, all of the food is richly, deliciously, tantalizingly described.

I rather disliked Christine, unfortunately—she seemed to me somewhat irrational and very self-centered—and I also didn’t like the love interest almost from the moment he was introduced. I think Fisnes tried very hard to make him sound romantic and endearing, but I thought he reeked of dishonesty. And I’m so very tired of reading about affairs and broken marriages. Can we, for once, have a contemporary about a healthy relationship?

Phoebe, in contrast, is such a good friend. She distracts Christine by asking about India, makes her dinner, encourages her to go for a walk, and listens intently and actively to her story. I also loved Ruth, who is confident, kind, and a loyal friend to Christine in India.

Although I appreciated the unique structure and vivid detail, the disappointing morals, unlikable protagonist, and smattering of typos and errors brings my rating to 2 out of 4 stars. An avid reader of romance may enjoy Goodbye Bombay, but it just wasn’t my cup of tea. I hoped for a story of India; I got an affair.

******
Goodbye Bombay
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Re: Official Review: Goodbye Bombay by Gry Finsnes

Post Number:#2 by kimmyschemy06
» 01 Aug 2016, 21:04

That was a very honest review. The premise sounds interesting. Too bad, though, about the unlikable protagonist and numerous errors. Nice job on the review.
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Re: Official Review: Goodbye Bombay by Gry Finsnes

Post Number:#3 by bookowlie
» 04 Aug 2016, 12:11

I really enjoyed reading your review. I also read and reviewed this book several months ago and agree with many of your points. Like you, I found the main character self-absorbed and unlikeable. The dialogue did feel a little too scripted instead of easy-going conversation between friends.
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Re: Official Review: Goodbye Bombay by Gry Finsnes

Post Number:#4 by Serena [Poetree]
» 04 Aug 2016, 15:02

bookowlie wrote:I really enjoyed reading your review. I also read and reviewed this book several months ago and agree with many of your points. Like you, I found the main character self-absorbed and unlikeable. The dialogue did feel a little too scripted instead of easy-going conversation between friends.

Thank you!

It's nice to know I'm not the only one who felt that way about it.
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Re: Official Review: Goodbye Bombay by Gry Finsnes

Post Number:#5 by bookowlie
» 04 Aug 2016, 15:09

It really annoyed me that Christine and her friend were enjoying themselves and reminiscing while drinking wine and having leisurely meals! Christine's ***(no spoilers) was lying in the hospital in a coma and they would be joking around all the time talking about her illicit affair. I always wondered if the book was loosely based on the author's own experiences.
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Re: Official Review: Goodbye Bombay by Gry Finsnes

Post Number:#6 by Serena [Poetree]
» 04 Aug 2016, 15:40

bookowlie wrote:It really annoyed me that Christine and her friend were enjoying themselves and reminiscing while drinking wine and having leisurely meals! Christine's ***(no spoilers) was lying in the hospital in a coma and they would be joking around all the time talking about her illicit affair. I always wondered if the book was loosely based on the author's own experiences.

Oh my goodness, yes! I couldn't for the life of me figure out why, if she was so worried about the hospitalized person, she wasn't spending the majority of her time there!
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Re: Official Review: Goodbye Bombay by Gry Finsnes

Post Number:#7 by gali
» 17 Aug 2016, 22:40

Good review! Not my cup of tea either. I hope you will enjoy your next book more,
In the case of good books, the point is not to see how many of them you can get through, but rather how many can get through to you." (Mortimer J. Adler)
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Re: Official Review: Goodbye Bombay by Gry Finsnes

Post Number:#8 by stoppoppingtheP
» 18 Aug 2016, 04:27

Serena [Poetree] wrote:. I hoped for a story of India; I got an affair.

******


I was also expecting a story about India. Disappointing.
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Re: Official Review: Goodbye Bombay by Gry Finsnes

Post Number:#9 by Cee-Jay Aurinko
» 18 Aug 2016, 06:54

So sorry you didn't get your dose of India. Lol. Great review!
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