The Vibrant Years: A Novel Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
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“Bursting with humor, banter, and cringeworthy first dates, Sonali Dev’s The Vibrant Years is a joyful and fun read, but it’s also very much a timely tale about a group of underestimated women demanding respect and embracing their most authentic selves.”—Mindy Kaling
Living on their own terms means being there for one another.
When sixty-five-year-old Bindu Desai inherits a million dollars, she’s astounded—and horrified. The windfall threatens to expose a shameful mistake from her youth. Desperate to keep the secret, Bindu quickly spends it on something unexpected: a condo in a posh retirement community in Florida.
The impulsive decision blindsides Bindu’s daughter-in-law, Aly. At forty-seven, Aly still shares a home with Bindu even after her divorce from Bindu’s son. But maybe this change is just the push Aly needs to fight for the segment she’s been promised for years at the news station where she works.
As Bindu and Aly navigate their new dynamic, Aly’s daughter, Cullie, is faced with losing the business that made her a tech-world star. The only way to save it is to deliver a new idea to her investors—and of course they want the half-baked dating app she pitched them in a panic. Problem is, Cullie has never been on a real date. Naturally, enlisting her single mother and grandmother to help her with the research is the answer.
From USA Today bestselling author Sonali Dev comes a heartfelt novel about three generations of hilarious, unconventional, ambitious women navigating bad dates, a spiteful HOA board, reemerging exes, and secrets that refuse to remain hidden. Join the Desai women on a shared journey of self-discovery as they dare to live their most vibrant lives.
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|Listening Length||11 hours and 1 minute|
|Author||Sonali Dev, Mindy Kaling - introduction|
|Narrator||Deepti Gupta, Soneela Nankani, Anita Kalathara|
|Audible.ca Release Date||December 01 2022|
|Publisher||Mindy's Book Studio|
|Best Sellers Rank|| #47,844 in Audible Books & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Books & Originals) |
#638 in Humorous Fiction & Satire
#1,771 in Women's Fiction (Audible Books & Originals)
#3,009 in Humorous
Top reviews from Canada
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This is a story about three generations of women in an East Indian American family that illustrates the ups and downs and issues they face in their lives. Within this story, Dev weaves East Indian cultural references and important issues such as gender discrimination and the social and cultural expectations that women face. But what stood out for me the most was the wonderful support Bindu, Aly and Cullie provide each other as they weather their own personal journeys of self-discovery.
The premise intrigued me, but the storytelling fell short for me. The dating antics of these three women played less of a role than I anticipated, and these romantic aspects felt glossed over while I found Bindu's secrets from her past to be melodramatic and lackluster. The story soon took on a repetitive feel and I didn't find it humorous or as emotional as I had hoped, giving it more of a Contemporary Fiction feel than a RomCom.
I appreciate the inclusion of important social issues that impact women, particularly BIPOC women, and I loved the intergenerational support Bindu, Aly and Cullie give each other but, in the end, this was just an okay read for me.
I read this book as part of the Amazon First Reads program.
Top reviews from other countries
In this case, without the constraints of an attempted 'homage' to Austen, she's prone to rambling about all over the place. The reader is expected to suspend disbelief to an absurd degree.
Sexy grandma, serious mum, and app-developer-genius daughter are all a bit crap at love. In an attempt to win back control of her successful app, the daughter/granddaughter proclaims she'll develop a new dating app. Honestly, I don't think that was a great plot line and it remained broadly unresolved.
As readers, we all know Grandma's secret but its big reveal is a long time coming. She has a completely unbelievable ability to attract large bequests from dead men - one who dies just moments after orgasm. Seriously? pah!
It's pleasant enough, wildly over-privileged and all a bit silly. But I knew that was exactly how it would be.
The Vibrant Years is not a romance, but more of a Women's Fiction, a contemporary story based around the lives of three generations of women from one family; Bindu, the confident, sexy 60-something grandma, or Binji as her granddaughter calls her; Aly, the 40-something ex-daughter-in-law of Bindu who has a strong bond with her ex-mother-in-law, and Cullie, the extremely intelligent 20-something granddaughter.
There is a secret Bindu is hiding. Something she has hidden since her late teens. This secret is threaded throughout the book, with short quotes from an old journal.
Dev has covered a lot in this book, looking at the conventional ways of thinking, and expectations put upon both men and women, the stigmas attached to certain jobs, and the way thinking has begun to change over the decades that span the three main characters' lives.
They all end up going on dates as research for a new app Cullie is trying to design, and end up finding more than love as they stumble from disaster date to disaster date.
It took me a little while to get into the story, but once I did, I was eager to know how the secret would unfold to the cast of characters, as we, the readers, are made aware of the 'shame' Bindu feels for her past, earlier on in the book.
There is a feel-good factor to the book, once things unravel, and settle back into a more favourable pattern, and overall, a good read.
The interwoven lives of these three women is succinctly and thoughtfully portrayed. Their internal narratiives persuade anyone that "going for it" or following your passions and dreams includes the responsibility you have towards the effect of that puruit on those you connect with on your journey.