There’s nothing supernatural or fairy tale-ish in the delightfully wild and fun novel, “The Goddess Effect,” by Sheila Yasmin Marikar, but I’m using this as a pick of the week anyway. It’s a hoot!
Anita is a 30-something woman who has chucked her unsatisfying job in New York and moved to LA to start over. She’s hurting from the loss of her beloved father and has some ill will toward her mother, who she, nonetheless, clearly loves.
What follows, as she shares a house rent free with some other young people trying to hustle a life in LA, is a series of terrible, yet fascinating, decisions. Anita drinks waaayyy too much, doesn’t really pursue the job opportunity she moves for, and gets caught up in an awful “wellness” semi-cult: “The Goddess Effect.”
Anita absolutely grows in this story. And along the way, we learn a lot about race and Indian culture and the way it is fetishized and co-opted by rich white women. But we also get to read about a stupendous Indian wedding, a truly bonkers retreat (there’s something horrible in those gummies at that whacky gathering). And we learn that there’s a lot of racial box-ticking along the way by several characters.
Marikar uses humor and wild behavior to make excellent points about friendship, culture and race and how we never should stop growing in this life. She’s a fresh new voice, and I look forward to reading more of her work.
Note: “The Goddess Effect” is definitely not for people who get upset and put out by heavy alcohol and party drug use and swearing and hookups. But I’m a grandmother, and I wasn’t offended. The author uses these elements to get her larger, more important, points across.
You can find a copy of the book HERE.
Thanks to NetGalley for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.