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Dava Shastri's Last Day  By  cover art

Dava Shastri's Last Day

By: Kirthana Ramisetti
Narrated by: Soneela Nankani
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Publisher's Summary

In this novel "full of music, magnetism, and familial obligation" (Emma Straub, author of All Adults Here) 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 seventy, 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. 

Includes a Reading Group Guide. 

A Good Morning America and Lilly Singh's Lilly Library Book Club pick 

Most anticipated in fall 2021 by TIME, The Washington Post, Bustle, Goodreads, and Debutiful • An Indie Next Pick • 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

What listeners say about Dava Shastri's Last Day

Average Customer Ratings
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    5 out of 5 stars
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past present and future

The narrator does a lovely job of giving each character their own voice. Enjoyable.

1 person found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Couldn’t finish

Not a single likable character, from the narcissistic mother to her narcissistic children. The author apparently didn’t care for them either, given that they are only given surface character development. I liked the performance, however, despite other reviewers comments. I think the material was just too bad to read well. Skip it

1 person found this helpful

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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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started off interesting but soon became boring

Started off promising but soon became a boring redundant mess. perhaps it got better towards the end, but I was afraid I would falll asleep driving if I went any further than halfway . I have it a shot but just couldn't finish.

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Boring rich Asians---I wish I could get my credit

1. Lacks narrative thrust. 2. Characters are unlikeable and not well developed. 3. Who cares about rich people? 4. What are the secrets that she participates in getting exposed? I would like to know, but not enough to slog through this terrible book. 5. The premise is weird. Would someone do that? Is anyone that narcissistic? 6. Too many characters, all cardboard.
At the risk of sounding racist, I don't think this book would have been published if the main characters weren't from a minority. I also wish I had read that the author has been writing celebrity tabloid type content for her whole career, since I wouldn't have tried it then. Don't waste your time. I wish I could get my audible credit back, and get a book with some psychological depth.
There is some possibility that it gets better, I could only get 8% of the way through.

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  • MR
  • 10-30-22

Trite

The narrator’s voice was dull and did not convey any emotion nor engagement with the story.
The story was same old… “ Rich people problems” The author had the main character experience a hodgepodge of life experiences that appeared to be an attempt to make her more relatable. All the characters lacked depth.
The story itself lacked depth and I felt insulted by the author’s nerve of throwing everything but the kitchen sink into this plot!
I kept waiting for the characters and the story to reveal any redeeming qualities … but to no avail.
Awful, trite and a waste of listening time!

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Not what I had hoped

Pretty disappointing. The description sounded really interesting, but so much more could have been accomplished with the characters. Rather than stay in the present, there’s so much history being told and it really doesn’t add anything to the point of the book. Just so-so, but you honestly won’t miss anything if you skip it

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takes you on a journey

This amazing journey is so heartfelt and reaches so many different kinds of emotions. I bet everyone can find someone in the story that they can relate to. generational love generational miscommunication generational pressure generational hope.

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Had to stop reading it 3/4 way through…

Ugh. Boring storyline.
Stupid setting….2044? Why?
And the narrator….every time she said “Daaaavvvvaaaa” I wanted to cringe.
Skip it.

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Get the book

Overall story line was interesting. Doesn’t really transport you into a different world. Clever in how it is set to use current decade in it. Performance though made me stop and read some reviews , glad I finished it. The voice always sounds exasperated in multiple characters! I see sick people all the time as my job, they don’t go around sounding exasperated all the time. Give it a try though

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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.