Sunday, September 10, 2023

Book Review: A Season in Delhi by Scott Alexander Hess

Reviewer: Alan Chin

Publisher: Rebel Satori Press (Nov, 2023)

Pages: 129


Coming Soon - November 12, 2023 from Rebel Satori Press


New Yorkers Brant and Lloyd settle into a posh neighborhood in Delhi to live while Lloyd works a new job that transplanted them to India. While Lloyd travels the country for his business, Brant is left alone much of the time with only a servant to keep him company. During his solitary time, Brant discovers the diary of a former diplomat’s wife, which chronicles her torrid affair with an Indian hoodlum. As Brant reads Carol’s scandalous tale of daring and woe, he can’t help bonding with this lady because of his own infidelity. The more Brant reads Carol’s diary, the greater the attachment he feels with this woman, and the greater his curiosity grows to find out what happened to her. They become kindred souls, sharing feelings and emotions across time. His journey thru Carol’s past beautifully creates a bond that transcends time and culture, empathy and absolution.


This is a tale of temptation, infidelity, loss, and redemption. But ultimately, it is a taut story of crushing loneliness and the fragility of human connections. It also delves into the desperate need we feel to cling to anything that lessens that loneliness. The characters are brutally authentic, and Hess handles them with sympathy and honesty. The reader so easily feels compassion, even becomes them as they face morally difficult choices. 


The author asks the reader to delve deeply into the human nature of illicit love affairs, those complex feelings of yearning, guilt, excitement, pleasure, fulfillment, wonder, and possibly even regret.


With sparse prose, Hess describes the sensual feel of Delhi and Agra. I have visited these fascinating destinations many times, and I can justly say the author took me back there, so rich and true were his descriptions. This is a quick read, but one that resonates in the heart. I treasured each page of this story.

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