Judge’s Commentary*: The Rummy Club is the story of four friends from the same prestigious Indian boarding school “Divya, Priya, Mini, and Alka”and their separate journeys that bring them to California many years after their school days. Each woman has a family and a life, but each struggle to conceal secret (and not so secret) heartache. Alka, who entered into an arranged marriage to save the family fortune, has transmuted all her energy to her children. Mini’s husband dies unexpectedly; Divya’s husband has struggled, leaving her and her family at a much lower social class than her friends; Alka’s perfect children might not be as perfect as she claims; and Priya’s marriage is on the rocks. Each friend is sensitively and believably drawn, and each gets her own point of view chapters, lending a rich, nuanced feeling to the narrative. None of the choices facing the four friends is easy, but the story of their friendships and their struggles is completely relatable and believable. The writing is smooth and commercial, and each side character is a believable and wonderfully interesting addition to the narrative (rather than being a burden or distracting.) There is also a lovely cultural sense throughout the novel, with names and pieces of Indian culture incorporated while feeling completely natural and understandable to the reader who might not be as familiar with the culture. Overall, The Rummy Club is a moving and wonderful read.
Going in to this novel, I knew very little about the culture of India. I can say now that I have more knowledge. “The Rummy Club ” is the story of four girls who meet in high school in their native India. The story spans several decades as all of them end up moving to California. Divya, Mini, Priya, and Alka go through many life altering events: husbands, kids, divorce, and death. They deal with their ethnicity, their love of their homeland, and their love of their new country.The story was very interesting and kept me engaged. I got to care about these girls/women as they weave in and out of each others’ lives. The characters were well drawn and felt real. The reader will care about them and what happens to them. I would welcome this novel in my library.
“Anoop Ahuja Judge shines at scene setting, in both India and the San Francisco Bay Area, with abundant, lush details.”
“This is an honest and compelling portrait of how long-lasting friendships evolve over the years. It’s also a story about bad choices, good choices, second chances and forgiveness. A great choice for book clubs!”
“The Rummy Club by Anoop Ahuja Judge is fine example of Asian Indian writing. It is engrossing from the beginning to the end and leaves you with questions about Eastern versus Western culture. Also, you realize that women of both cultures suffer some of the same problems in their families. One of the tragedies in this book is one that my own family endured.”
“I loved the Rummy Club by Anoop Ahuja Judge. I really loved the richness and texture she brought to the story and all four women. Their lives were really engaging, each of their voices were unique and their friendship was very fun and relatable.“
“Every once in a while, you come across and author who just “gets it.” This was one of those time. “Women’s Fiction” is frequently sort of a throw-away genre–just a readable story without much meat. Judge, on the other hand, has written a multi-layered story that stands out among the genre.”
“The book tells the story of four Indian women bound by decades of friendship: Alka, a child of privilege and power; Mini, a beauty and a flirt; Priya, a nurturing earth mother; and Divya, who is insecure and envious of her friends. Now in their 40s and living in California, they find comfort and support in their weekly games of rummy — even as their private lives begin to unravel, according to a press release.“
“I loved your book and all the very real characters that you paint.”
“Just finished reading the book. Loved every chapter. Every character. Story flows so well and so easily relatable. You see yourself or a friend you know in each character.”
“I could so relate to the friendship, and to the lives of each of the four characters! Good old friends are the most meaningful gift in life. You have so well depicted how our lives are so completely tied to our children’s happiness and well being. The part of Alka’s prayers during the time her son is in the hospital feels so real. I loved your touching connection to Tagore’s champa poem. Simply beautiful!”
“The characters were genuine and I felt their pulse as if they were real. I sat by a swimming pool and read almost the whole book at once. I was so interested in what was going to happen next!”