Title: Tulsi Vivah (Dreamspinner 2018 Advent Calendar – Warmest Wishes)
Author: Anna Kaling
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: December 1, 2018
Genre(s): Contemporary Romance, Holidays
Page Count: 62 pages
Reviewed by: CrabbyPatty
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 5 stars out of 5
The festival of Tulsi Vivah ushers in the Hindu wedding season and tears away the love of Kristopher’s life. Three years of passion and tenderness are reduced to a shameful skeleton in the closet as Arjuna submits to the marriage his parents have arranged for him. His family has never even heard Kristopher’s name.
The festival, a ritualistic wedding between the holy basil plant, Tulsi, and her eternal lover, Vishnu, is as much of a play-act as Arjuna’s upcoming nuptials, but he believes the wedding will honor his parents and please Vishnu. So why is his Tulsi plant—whose leaves heal and bless the devout, who is Vishnu’s representative on earth—dying? Arjuna tends to her with all the care of a concerned parent, but it might take more than his devotion to save her. She might need Kris, with his clever green-fingers—and maybe a revived Tulsi can heal two hearts.
“Tulsi Vivah” is perhaps my favorite story from the 2018 Dreamspinner holiday series and at only 62 pages this tale feels whole and complete and is very compelling.
Arjuna is a closeted Hindu who agrees to marry a woman in an arranged marriage to honor his very ill mother’s wishes … which totally blindsides Arjuna’s boyfriend of three years, Kristopher. Kaling does a beautiful job of balancing Kristopher’s heartbreak with Arjuna’s determination to make his mother happy, while making himself and his bride-to-be totally miserable. Kaling captures the difficulty of wanting to honor ones culture, while wondering if breaking those traditions is the only way to be happy. I loved the depth of emotion and give “Tulsi Vivah” 5 stars.