“I Wish We Weren’t Related” May Be Your Next Favorite Read

Genre: Adult Fiction | Contemporary Fiction

Release Date: Expected 6th July 2023

Publisher: Headline | Headline Review 

When Reeva’s Mum calls to tell her that her Dad is dead, she doesn’t really care because he died 30 years ago. 

But apparently, it’s all a lie. Despite her thriving career as a lawyer, fighting for people and knowing exactly the right thing to say at any time, she’s lost for words. Her twice-dead father had one last request for her and her estranged sisters; to spend the next two weeks at his home, saying prayers and sorting his estate.

Her Bollywood star Mother is conveniently unavailable in the mountains, so she’s alone miles from home with her two sisters, who completely ruined her life the last time they spoke. She just needs to make it through these two weeks to bury her Father and move on. 

But could this be a chance to finally get answers? Not just about who their Father was, but everything else that has fractured their family over the years. Or will any hope of family be buried along with their Father?

 “It’s the same thing we’ve been talking about all this time with the truth. The meaning of life is to be authentic. To live it all as yourself. To do what feels right for you. That’s it.”

Radhika Sanghani is a relatable, raw, and riotously witty writer. And this follow-up to her debut adult novel is further proof that her voice demands to be heard. 

“I Wish We Weren’t Related” is painfully real, full of heart, and so funny in the most awkwardly relatable ways. 

Reeva is everything I want in a main character — someone boldly themselves, fierce, flawed, and smart but not infallible. She’s a fighter — for feminism, equity, and others — but not for herself yet. 

I absolutely adored how her relationships and connections shine through in this book — the stunning and meaningful friendships, the complicated histories with family, and of course, my favorite character: the sassy and regal cat, Fluffy Panda. 

The scene is set instantly, with little details that draw us into her life and create a connection that propels the story forwards. We spend just a few short weeks with Reeva and her family, seeing little captured moments in this one time in her life that might seem insignificant alone but weave together to show a journey of discovery and healing. It’s messy, chaotic, and almost absurd at times as tensions increase and drama takes over. But it’s unflinchingly and awkwardly entertaining and wickedly clever the entire time. 

Reeva’s journey was bittersweet and heartwarming, devastating but beautiful. She had so much conflict not only with others but also inside herself; internal colorism and misogyny, repressed anger, and a brutal inner critic with unrealistic expectations. All of this was eating her up inside, and even when her trauma and turmoil made her lash out and make bad choices, I just wanted to hold her.

“I Wish We Weren’t Related” is a beautifully sweeping story about love between family, strangers, and ourselves. It’s definitely one you should read.

CW: colorism, body image issues, death, cheating, sex, night terrors, ableism, loss of pets, and alopecia. 

*Originally published at bethanys-bookshelf.blogspot.com. Please note this review is based on a UK advanced reviewers copy.*

Photo by Nguyen Thu Hoai on Unsplash


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