Posted in Reviews

Review: Mumbai New York Scranton: A Memoir

mumbai new york scranton cover

Title: Mumbai New York Scranton: A Memoir

Author: Tamara Shopsin, Jason Fulford

Publisher: Scribner

Genre: Memoir

4 stars

Best known for her witty, sparse illustrations, and as a cook beside her mischievous father in her family’s iconic Manhattan restaurant, in Mumbai, New York, Scranton Tamara Shopsin chronicles a year in her life when impermanence was the theme. Told in a refreshingly original voice that alternates between tender and brazen, Shopsin recounts her trip to the Far East with her sidekick husband and the harrowing adventure that unfolds after returning home.

Blending humor, love, and suspense—and featuring photographs by Jason Fulford—Mumbai, New York, Scranton reveals and inspires a kaleidoscope of emotions. Shopsin’s surprising and affecting tale is guaranteed to keep you on the edge of your seat.

I received this book from the publisher in exchange for a review.

It seems to me that, with Mumbai New York Scranton, I’ve read two books instead of one. The first is about the trip to India, and the second is everything that happens after they come back. The book also has many black-and-white photos.

The writing style is different from anything I’ve read before. I’m not entirely sure how to describe it, but the word that comes to mind is ‘calm’. No matter what she’s describing, the narrator seems really calm about everything and sometimes emotionally detached. It took me some time to get used to her style and start properly enjoying the book.

The part about India has some interesting facts about that place, but that’s pretty much all I liked about it. The story switches from one topic to the other very fast.

When they come back from their trip, the book becomes a lot more interesting. It turns to her family life and her medical problems (not as boring as it might sound in my review; in fact, it’s the best part of the book). I expected it to be more emotional, but it all reads like: “That’s what happened. I was okay with it.”

The book was enjoyable to read. I plan on rereading it one day, because I have a feeling it’s one of those that are better the second time.

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