Elmore Leonard advised writers not to open with the weather. However, Melissa Studdard, author of Six Weeks to Yehida goes and does just that. However, in her novel, not only does the opening work for her and her story, but it also gives the reader the feeling that here’s a talent that can do much more. This is an instance in which opening with the weather has helped the author bring a fairy tale quality to the writing.
It’s the story of Annalisa who is wafted into another world on an ordinary day with her two sheeps. The novel has several snatches of verse which adds to the book’s charm. The characters and their personalities grow on the reader and the wonderful vulnerability of the protagonist makes one sympathetic to her. Her adventures take her to bizarre worlds, lending the novel an Alice in Wonderland kind of charm. Bob the guides impresses, so does Kana.
It all ends when she realises that the magical world she has traversed was a dream and that for six weeks she was in a coma. This twist in the tale impressed me as a reader, and would impress any reader of this engaging book.
All through the book I could detect an Indian connection in words such as: Bharat Ratna, Sari, etc. Could it be that the author is a lover of India? In that case she should write a novel on India.