• The Candid Life of Meena Dave

  • By: Namrata Patel
  • Narrated by: Soneela Nankani
  • Length: 10 hrs and 31 mins
  • 4.3 out of 5 stars (742 ratings)

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The Candid Life of Meena Dave  By  cover art

The Candid Life of Meena Dave

By: Namrata Patel
Narrated by: Soneela Nankani
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Publisher's Summary

A woman embarks on an unexpected journey into her past in an engrossing novel about identity, family secrets, and rediscovering the need to belong.

Meena Dave is a photojournalist and a nomad. She has no family, no permanent address, and no long-term attachments, preferring to observe the world at a distance through the lens of her camera. But Meena’s solitary life is turned upside down when she unexpectedly inherits an apartment in a Victorian brownstone in historic Back Bay, Boston.

Though Meena’s impulse is to sell it and keep moving, she decides to use her journalistic instinct to follow the story that landed her in the home of a stranger. It’s a mystery that comes with a series of hidden clues, a trio of meddling Indian aunties, and a handsome next-door neighbor. For Meena it’s a chance for newfound friendships, community, and culture she never thought possible. And a window into her past she never expected.

Now as everything unknown to Meena comes into focus, she must reconcile who she wants to be with who she really is.

©2022 Namrata Patel (P)2022 Brilliance Publishing, Inc., all rights reserved.

Critic Reviews

“A thoroughly entertaining rendition of one woman’s search for belonging.”Kirkus Reviews

“Full of lively characters who will win readers’ hearts and keep them thinking long after the book is finished, this book is a genuine, charming debut. Long-buried secrets and a journey of self-discovery will keep the pages turning.”Booklist 

“[A]n inherently fascinating and impressively scripted novel…”Midwest Book Review 

Editorial Review

A quest for identity
As a proud Bostonian, I love when a story is set in my beautiful hometown. Namrata Patel's debut, The Candid Life of Meena Dave, is not only a heartwarming tale about a young woman finding herself and discovering her Indian roots, it's also a love letter to Boston. Meena Dave, a nomadic photojournalist, receives an apartment as an inheritance from an unknown benefactor. Meena's first impulse is to sell it as soon as she can, and leave. But shortly after her arrival Meena starts finding ambiguous notes around the apartment, and the journalist in her just has to investigate. From insights into Indian culture, to her relationships with the aunties, and getting to know her handsome neighbor, Sam, and his dog, Wally, I devoured this story in a day. I'm left begging (with Wally's puppy eyes) for a sequel, please. — Patty C.

What listeners say about The Candid Life of Meena Dave

Average Customer Ratings
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Nice Story...

I like listening to a NICE story, not who killed who, or the scary thing that might get you when you are asleep. A nice story, a heart warming, heart rendering story to simply listen to and enjoy. THIS is one of those, not a fairy tale but with a happy ending, and a nice plot. Little tweaks here and there to get you wondering but not mind boggling.. I really enjoyed it

3 people found this helpful

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  • ds
  • 06-03-22

Immigrant/adopted child story

I recommend although at times I found main character whinny and pathetic. The story focuses on the search to find her spot of a young woman of Indian heritage. Book includes references to Indian food that I found interesting, but just assumed correct as I have no culinary experience. The encounter with the love interest sounded like a novel (if only attractive men were so easy to meet), but it is a novel. In general get if you are interested in things Indian and understand a search to fit in.

2 people found this helpful

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I felt like I was being bullied.

I couldn’t make it past Chapter 13. I wanted to like it and kept thinking it would turn around. But it was so unrealistic to have such overbearing and bullies as main characters. I kept thinking there would be an epiphany. I just couldn’t hang on.

1 person found this helpful

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FANTASTIC BOOK

I had never heard of this author, before this weekend. I went to a bookstore to meet another author that I like to read and Namrata was there. I enjoyed listening to her talk about why she started writing and why she wrote the types of stories that she writes. I had a busy week so I ended up listening to this book instead of actually reading it. The narration was perfection! The story of the young lady finding her self in who she is and where she belongs in life, was brilliant. I highly recommend reading this book. You will have all the emotions for the main character that you can imagine. You will feel her hurt, her anger, her struggle with wanting to be a part of something, her struggle with loving and trusting someone, her disappointments in people, and her decisions to do what’s best for her. It’s a wonderful story I recommend reading. FIVE STARS!!!!

1 person found this helpful

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Fun, breezy listen!

A story about making sense of your past while embracing your future. I thoroughly enjoyed the narration.

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A Culture and Generation Clash with Chai

Nearly flawless story about growing up and finding your place - with flair and warmth. I loved this story and felt it was a good story and want a sequel.

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Beautiful story and life lessons

Meena’s transformation, although dragged out at times, was worth the listen. Loved the focus on the Indian culture and the supportive, loving energy of the book. Narrator was perfect.

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  • AP
  • 10-03-22

Better than I expected

Sweet. I thought it was a little predictable but also some surprises and it doesn't matter because they story was nice and felt good in the end.

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The discovery of the value of a home and a family

The main character is adopted. She is left an apartment from an unknown source. She discovers her birth mom and heritage. She also allows herself to give and receive love. The journey of running from stability to finding love is full of joyous adventure.

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I enjoyed this book a lot

This was an enjoyable story about adoption and how it affects the adoptee throughout their life. You can’t run away from your past. I like the way the adoption story isn’t sugar coated and shows that not all encounters with birth family have happy endings. As an adoptive parent from an international adoption, I can relate to the ethnic differences both physical and cultural experienced by interracial adoptees. The narrator does a great job as well.

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  • Marie Miller
  • 10-14-22

Great Book!

I really enjoyed this book and the way that the characters developed. The secrets of who was the mother was guessed early in book .

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  • Celia
  • 06-19-22

Wonderful

What a lovely 21st Century story. Bridging cultures, history, secrets & circumstance. A tale that weaves through a series of interesting characters while describing locations that bring one into the story, I felt like I was drinking tea & waiting for the wildflowers to bloom.