The Copenhagen Affair by Amulya Malladi
(Lake Union Publishing ~ September 26, 2017)
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
A spot-on look at modern marriage and depression, THE COPENHAGEN AFFAIR enlightens and entertains readers against a beautiful European background.
Thanks to Lake Union Publishing and Goldberg McDuffie Communications for the review copy of this novel – all opinions are my own.
Book Description (from Goodreads)
Sanya was always the perfect wife, but after a breakdown at her office, it’s her husband Harry’s turn to step up. His proposal? A temporary move to Copenhagen, Denmark’s capital city. He needs to be there to close a business deal and figures the change of scenery will do her good. Soon Sanya goes from hiding under her duvet to hiding in plain sight—a dark-skinned Indian American in a city of blondes.
Within Copenhagen’s glamorous high society, one man stands out—not only because of his intriguing scar but because he sees Sanya in a way Harry hasn’t for years. Anders Ravn owns the company Harry wants to acquire, and soon Sanya begins to fall for him. As allegations of white-collar crime arise, she learns of Harry’s infidelity, and having an affair with Anders seems ever more tempting. Surrounded by old money, smoked fish on dark breads, and way too many bicycles, Sanya slowly moves from breakdown to breakthrough, but where will she end up—and with whom?
I first encountered Malladi’s work when I read her last novel, A HOUSE FOR HAPPY MOTHERS, earlier this year, and was ecstatic to receive another of her titles. This is an entirely different kind of book (except for the female protagonist being of Indian descent and having a home in California) but equally compelling.
In THE COPENHAGEN AFFAIR, Sanya is a 40-something finance executive, wife and mother who suffers a nervous breakdown and subsequent deep depression. Her husband believes that the best thing to do is relocate to Copenhagen for work, so off they go ~ into a world of expats and intrigue, and a whole new Sanya. The author lived in this city for over 10 years, and the narrative and descriptions wholeheartedly reflect that experience.
I absolutely fell in love with this book and it’s sharp wit combined with an incredibly thoughtful look at marriages that have lasted 20+ years. What is love? And what keeps a marriage together? What is depression? How does depression change the core of the depressed? The absolute icing on the cake for me was the Q & A at the end of the book between the author and her husband – they reflect on their marriage, time in Copenhagen and her depression.
Highly recommended for fans of smart contemporary women’s fiction and House Hunters International aficionados itching to get more insight on this European city.