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Publisher's Summary

In this thought-provoking and entertaining debut novel about of a multicultural family, a dying billionaire matriarch leaks news of her death early so she can examine her legacy - a decision that horrifies her children and inadvertently exposes secrets she has spent a lifetime keeping.

Dava Shastri, one of the world's wealthiest women, has always lived with her sterling reputation in mind. A brain cancer diagnosis at the age of 70, however, changes everything, and Dava decides to take her death - like all matters of her life - into her own hands.

Summoning her four adult children to her private island, she discloses shocking news: In addition to having a terminal illness, she has arranged for the news of her death to break early, so she can read her obituaries.

As someone who dedicated her life to the arts and the empowerment of women, Dava expects to read articles lauding her philanthropic work. Instead, her "death" reveals two devastating secrets, truths she thought she had buried forever.

And now the whole world knows, including her children.

In the time she has left, Dava must come to terms with the decisions that have led to this moment - and make peace with those closest to her before it's too late. Compassionately written and chock-full of humor and heart, this powerful novel examines public versus private legacy, the complexities of love, and the never-ending joys - and frustrations - of family.

Most anticipated by Time • A Publishers Marketplace Buzz Book for Fall/Winter 2021 • Longlisted for the 2021 Center for Fiction First Novel Prize

©2021 Kirthana Ramisetti (P)2021 Grand Central Publishing

Critic Reviews

"A rich portrait of a family facing their powerful matriarch's death, Dava Shastri's Last Day is full of music, magnetism, and familial obligation. If Succession were about a multicultural family who actually loved each other, it might look like this." (Emma Straub, author of All Adults Here)

"Kirthana Ramisetti has written a sweeping saga and also a poignant story about sacrifice and the exacting price of secrecy. Cinematic and intimate, Dava Shastri’s Last Day is an intricate story about family and love." (Devi S. Laskar, author of The Atlas of Reds and Blues)

"Dava Shastri's Last Day is a story about ambition and greatness, wealth and family, full of secrets, love, and music, and those eternal pop song complements: heartbreak and hope. It's a gripping, deeply satisfying story about one woman's tremendous life - and the infinitely complicated ways we create our own legacies." (Kate Racculia, author of Tuesday Mooney Talks to Ghosts and Bellweather Rhapsody)

Dear Listener,

What am I excited for you to discover in this story?
"I hope you discover the same thing listening that I did in writing this novel. It helped me really consider the ways our families shape us, sometimes in ways we can never fully understand. Also, my love of music profoundly shaped the writing of this novel, and so I hope you discover a song or two you love as deeply as Dava does. Lastly, there's a special treat featured on the audiobook. A pop song plays a pivotal role in it, and when I was drafting the novel, I had started teaching myself to play the ukulele. After writing the lyrics, I came up with a melody on the ukulele and quickly got this song stuck in my head. Three years later, the audiobook team told me they wanted to produce the song in the novel as an actual song for the audiobook. Incredibly, they used the same melody I had thought up several years ago. As a longtime music fan, to write my own song—and have it be a part of my debut novel!—is something I would have never dreamed possible. And after all this time, this song is still stuck in my head. I can’t wait for you to hear it too." – Kirthana Ramisetti, creator of Dava Shastri’s Last Day

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What listeners say about Dava Shastri's Last Day

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Average

Interesting concept infused with usual dysfunctional family. It was enough to keep my interest to finish.

1 person found this helpful

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Love the complexity of the main character

As a parent, I can appreciate the contradictions of why you do things as a parent, what you hope it inspires in your kids, and the perception of why by your children. Great story of a strong woman.

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Engaging!

It has been many books since I could really immerse myself in the story as if a friend was sitting next to me telling it. This character and her story really engulfed me. Thank you for this
enjoyable experience.

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So overacted I couldn't continue to listen

The performance is grating. I had to abandon. Every sentence--truly every single one--drips with whiny overinflection. The story was recommended by my sister and seems interesting. I'm disappointed I can't go on. Have been an Audible subscriber for years and have abandoned a book bc of the performance only one other time.

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  • Dennis Sommers
  • 12-04-21

Not to my taste: lightweight!

A lot of fuss about nothing: didn’t finish it: archive!!! I hope the author finds something more significant to write about; that is, if she has another book to write.