Saturday, 10 November 2018

Karma Khullar’s Mustache by Kristi Wientge, review by Lynda Waterhouse

I discovered this novel whilst browsing in a bookshop. I hadn’t heard of the author or read any reviews but I was instantly drawn to the book as I too had experience of being the girl with the moustache at school, just like Karma Khullar in this warm and funny story.
The story is set in the USA and Karma Khuller is 12 and about to start middle school when those seventeen pesky hairs start sprouting. To make matters worse her beloved dadima has died. Her father has lost his job and is now staying at home whilst her mother has taken on a demanding job and is working long hours. Her older brother Kiran is being allowed to develop his musical talents.  Her best friend Sara is captivated by new neighbour Lacy who appears fashionable, popular and sophisticated. Sara has no time to support Karma when she need her most.
The novel is written in a warm lively first person narrative that moves from humour to pathos and back again with delightful ease. The story raises complex issues such as cultural identity, bullying, friendship and spirituality and does not offer ‘pat’ solutions.
No-one’s life is perfect but with kindness and understanding then it is possible to find your way in life. This is Kristi Wientge’s debut novel and I cannot wait to read more of her work.
ISBN 978 1481477710 Simon&Schuster


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