Book Reviews: Hot Times in Goa by Linda Bananacategories: Book, Travel, Adult Themes, Adventure, Woman Behaving Badly, Beach Read, Goan Family Life, East Meets West, Women's Fiction
Linda Bananaabout this book: Remember the book, 'Women who love too much'? Lee Diana Habash is a woman like that. But when her wonderful husband dies, she discovers that it is all too easy to slip into the next relationship, believing it will be just as fulfilling as the last, and be seriously, if not dangerously, disappointed.
Bitter experience led to my writing this book but, just like my life, it has its lighter side, too. This book is designed to be a holiday read with edge. I wrote it for women of all ages and men with open minds. People who love Goa will love it. People who have learned from their mistakes will relate to it. It took a few years to write but I have always worked full-time, too. Writing it was a doddle compared with trying to get people to read it! But give it a go, if you dare!
• Quote from a man: "It's unbelievable! Women just don't behave like that." Oh yeah?
• Other quotes:
"It reminds me of Tom Wolfe." I like this.
"I've never read such an interesting cross-cultural story; her writing makes me think of Salman Rushdie." I definitely like this!
preview: read a sample from this book
what to read next: if you read and liked this book...
A strong heroine and a man who is falling apart in an exotic locationA story set in Goa is irresistible because I know the place. I recognise the western types and some of the hangouts. Linda Banana – can't be her real name, surely – has the knack of making us laugh at the extreme characters without losing her affection for them.
The story, without giving too much away, is that, afraid of sinking into boring middle-age after the death of her diplomat husband, Lee Habash goes to Goa to recapture her hippy youth.
Some of the people she knew then are still living the laid-back 70s lifestyle. But she isn't the free spirit she thinks she is and soon gets serious with a cheeky charmer with a difficult past who she tries to love and help.
The scenes with Goan characters are not just charming; they are also educational in terms of the culture. The writer manages to get into the psyche of people that most tourists don't get to know at all. The settings are described vividly. Read this if you know Goa or if you would like to go: you will find out more than from a guide book. [by Kay Houston]
hot bananaDespite the exotic location and the palm-fringed backdrop, 'Sex on the Beach,' this is not. So if you're looking for a sweet holiday Romance, back to the Amazon bookstore. There's a lot of angst in it but no 'Red Room of Pain.' Forays into S & M are short-lived and comic. There's plenty of sex: sex 'n' drugs 'n' rock 'n' roll. It's set in Goa, after all. That's why I picked it up: I've been there. I can't say I saw any of these shenanigins, though: it must have been a quiet year when I went. This character, Lee, goes through men like a knife through butter and what a soft lot they turn out to be. But that's only half the story. The Goan family she stays with are delightful and the scenes of east-west interaction unforgettable and often laugh out loud funny, as are those between Lee and her chums. I did laugh out loud while I was reading this book. I cried, too and sometimes was on the edge of my seat. The story takes no prisoners. And the story is good. It's got a beginning, a middle and an end, all in the right order, plenty of action, lively dialogue and a satisfactory outcome. Women will identify with the main character. Men will be perplexed. Their loss.. [by marbles]
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