Book Review: ‘Insatiable’ by Shobhaa Dé

De's magic revved up again!


Book Title: Insatiable
Author: Shobhaa Dé
Publisher: HarperCollins India
Number of Pages: 304
ISBN: 978-9356296008
Date Published: Jan. 17, 2023
Price: INR 409

Insatiable by Shobha De Book Cover

Book Review

Shobhaa Dé, India’s ‘Jackie Collins,’ is one of the country’s best-selling novels. Dé’s writing focuses on contemporary urban issues like as marriage, and troubled relationships, the vivacious, opinionated, and gorgeous writer/columnist makes a triumphant return with her latest book, “Insatiable: My Hunger for Life” Dé brings readers inside her beautiful house through compelling writing, where they engage in intriguing talks, observe convivial social situations, and have hilarious exchanges with her loved ones. Her daring writing style pushes limits and gives fresh viewpoints that may perplex the rest of the globe.

Dé expresses her thanks to the different aspects that have given excitement to her seventy-five years in Insatiable, a year-long journey building up to a momentous event. She sets the tone at the opening, emphasizing the themes of food, family, and friendship. The book is a beautiful blend of her deep love of food, a gourmet companion for every occasion, time, emotion, and interaction. Food becomes a powerful metaphor for everything that adds meaning and happiness to her life. “Food fortifies,” declares Dé. Food is our ally. Food is essential. Why fight against bad food and drink?

The book is unapologetically Dé’s admission that her palette is as comprehensive and adventurous as hers. Food has been crucial in building close relationships with her family and friends. She vividly recalls her culinary adventures, such as enjoying wonderful food with eminent people like M.F. Hussain and Aamir Khan. The pages convey us to the dining rooms of famous people. This is what draws me to her writing. I have been a regular reader of De’s novels, columns, and blogs; her writing garnered severe criticism, and her brave writing is attractive.

Dé is an exceptional storyteller, and her amusing narrative style captivates readers. At 75, she has an insatiable thirst for life’s limitless treasures, which she gladly shares with her audience. However, the tone alters as the novel nears its conclusion, and a sense of sadness arises. She opens out about her worst period when society and loved ones shunned her for living on her terms. Dé makes a big life decision in the latter chapters and a difficult one at that.

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Insatiable” by Shobhaa Dé is more than simply a simple, delightful read; it gives a powerful account of Dé’s life. It creates a compelling story that keeps readers interested by acknowledging both the highs and lows. Readers will indeed have a ravenous hunger while reading Insatiable. Food—from lavish biryanis to modest jhalmuri(my favorite, I live in Odisha, and it is mouthwatering)—dominates the pages. Like her unusual and strongly opinionated writings, the book has a significant effect. It occasionally resembles a journal entry, chronologically developing with the changing seasons.

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