“Achingly familiar and marvellously inventive… a dizzyingly original, fiercely funny, deeply wise novel.”


Just finished Gold Diggers by Sanjena Sathian.
This novel is part fantasy as a family that has emigrated from India to America deals with past mythology surrounding the drinking of gold to promote successful and prolonged life.
Neil Narayan lives next door to the girl of his dreams, Anita Dayal. Neils sister is very bright and plans to attend Duke college. Neil doesn’t have the same ambition.

Anita, however, is very Bright and ambitious, and with the full support of her mother seems to be getting ahead and achieving all her set goals. One day Neil discovers that Anita and her mother drink gold which has been stolen from other bright people, just a few small pieces here and there, which helps them to reach their goals of success and happiness. When he finds the mixed drink containing the gold he takes way too much and Anita must take care of him so he doesn’t suffer from the after effects from drinking too much. He is then let in on the secret and begins to drink a little for himself.
The story then concerns how Anita and Neil go their separate ways for awhile with Neil stopping his consumption of the gold. A few years later when they reunite, things are very different and he will return to the gold out of necessity to help solve a problem.

An interesting look into how some immigrants make their way to coexisting in America within our regular society and then in the fantasy portion of the book the belief in alchemy and the power that gold yields does make this a very interesting story. Part funny, part sad, we see how being different in the country where you live can make life very difficult and sometimes unmanageable. This can lead some to believe in shortcuts that at times can be very destructive.


Reviewed by:

Richard Franco

Added 15th November 2021

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Richard Franco