Book Review: The House That BJ Built by Anuja Chauhan

What do you do when you have a long metro journey and you forget your headphones or anything to read? Well If you have ever traveled by the Delhi metro you know the answer is to buy one of the two or you will be stuck listening to loads of family drama that gets pretty annoying after some time. Any how on one such occasion where I did not have a book or my headphones, I decided I did not want my metro trip to be a torture trip so I got down to look around a tiny little book store they had at one of the stations and picked The House That BJ Built by Anuja Chauhan. The reason I decided to pick it of the shelf was because I had already read the first part which was Those Pricey Thakur Girls and it was a good read so I expected this to be as well.

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So the story in The House That BJ Built takes off after a few years where the prequel ends. The infamous Thakur Girls are all old, grown up still pricey and now it’s time for their next generation to take over the drama.  BJ or Justice Lakshmi Narayan is old, unwell and forgetful, few of the characters of the first book are dead and the kids are stubbornly independent just like their respective mothers and aunts.

As justice Lakshmi Narayan better known as Bauji or BJ is heading towards the end of his time, he is overcome with the worry that like most families in their neighbourhood his girls will fight over property. To prevent this from happening, BJ decides to set the wheels in motion to divide the house in 5 equal parts or Hissa. It is this division of the house into hissas that forms the base of the story. A parallel storyline has a more romantic tone and concentrates on the complicated relationship between Bonita or Bonu Singh ( daughter of Binodini, BJ’s second daughter) and Samar( step son of Anjini, BJ’s eldest daughter).

The story is full of twists and turns that not only pertain to what is happening right now but also refer to alot of incidents that happened in the past so you can’t really enjoy this book if you haven’t read the previous one. The author has a knack to showcase human emotions and situation in her writing that are very close to reality so reader relatability quotient is high. Another strong thing about the book is character development and I have to say it is absolutely brilliant. The over-protective and concerned father, the nosey aunts, corrupt politicians and other big and small characters are remind you of someone in your life . The protagonist Bonu Singh in particular stole my heart and I have to say I had a love-hate relationship with her throughout the story.

The book has a decent pace and lots of sub-plots that merge effortlessly. The narration has a humorous tone for most parts but then there are portions with dark humor as well especially describing some family conflicts that most families face but usually try to keep under wraps. The overall book was a pleasant read and I found myself smiling on quite a few instances.

The only thing that bothered me about the book was the length. I don’t think the author needed to write 400+ pages to have the same impact she did and she could have easily skipped a few parts. But having said that, it is still a great read with an entertaining plot, strong characters and an author who translates human emotions effortlessly on paper. I am definitely going to recommend you to pick up a copy if you have already read the first part. If you haven’t read the pricey girls then I would definitely recommend you to pick both 🙂

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