Advance Book Review: The Painted Ocean by Gabriel Packard

This literary fiction novel tells the unusual story of Shruti, whose father left and whose mother doesn’t speak English and is manipulated and controlled by the family elder to remarry. Shruti is bullied at school and feels a total misfit until new girl Meena arrives, giving her hope she can finally have a friend, but things do not go how Shruti hopes and Meena’s influence on her life will leave indelible marks.

The first half of this novel won’t stretch your imagination too much and seems plausible as Shruti struggles to stay with a parent who is at best weak willed. The dynamics of South Asian families and the sense of not belonging anywhere Shruti feels is well written.

The second part of this novel will tax your levels of plausibility but despite that I found it impossible to stop reading and was totally absorbed with finding out what happens to this unfortunate character.

Written very much in the vernacular of Shruti and solely from her point of view, this story about a girl who is starved for love and somewhere to belong stayed with me after I finished the book. This title will be released on 3rd March 2016.

Links To Book:
Amazon UK
Amazon US



    1. The first part struck a chord with me as I was one of very few Asian girls at my school, so the bullying was something I was familiar with. The second part took the story to a whole different level but overall I couldn’t put it down, I was totally intrigued about what would happen to Shruti.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I wonder though like Shruti if I would have been bullied no matter what packaging I came in. If I was bullied because of what’s on my inside rather than just because I was different.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. The first part is realistic, part two of this book polarised reviewers. I’m still wondering if the plot of part two was a representation of something bigger. I think you have to read it just because it’s an unusual read.


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