The Copenhagen Affair by Amulya Malladi – 306 pages
Sanya was always the perfect wife, but after a breakdown at her office, it’s her husband Harry’s turn to step up. His proposal? A temporary move to Copenhagen, Denmark’s capital city. He needs to be there to close a business deal and figures the change of scenery will do her good. Soon Sanya goes from hiding under her duvet to hiding in plain sight—a dark-skinned Indian American in a city of blondes. Within Copenhagen’s glamorous high society, one man stands out—not only because of his intriguing scar but because he sees Sanya in a way Harry hasn’t for years. Anders Ravn owns the company Harry wants to acquire, and soon Sanya begins to fall for him. As allegations of white-collar crime arise, she learns of Harry’s infidelity, and having an affair with Anders seems ever more tempting. Surrounded by old money, smoked fish on dark breads, and way too many bicycles, Sanya slowly moves from breakdown to breakthrough, but where will she end up—and with whom?
My Review: 4 stars
The Copenhagen Affair is the author’s love letter to Copenhagen that also tackles some serious issues. This is Malladi’s seventh novel and although I’ve enjoyed them all, my favorite will always be A Breath Of Fresh Air.
The author admits that she was battling depression when she wrote this so it only seems apropos that the main character would be afflicted as well. Writing about depression can’t be easy unless you have the empathy to do so. If you or a loved one has suffered from this, you can tell that the descriptions seem spot on. How easy one can fall back into the darkness is shown in many instances.
The beauty of the novel is outside the “breakdown” as the main character Sanya call it, is a heaping dose of laughter. Sanya is a wife that doesn’t nag, a hands-on mother, dutiful friend, full-time career woman and a disappointment to her Indian parents. Although brilliant and cunning at work, she’s deemed “less than” due to the fact she’s not a doctor. When she implodes, she realizes just how much she gave – body, soul and mind, to everyone and everything around her. Suddenly, a new Sanya emerges and she’s taking care of herself. It doesn’t hurt that this new version gets to find herself in Copenhagen, one of the happiest cities on earth. Besides the weather, it did seem idyllic and a place I’m moving up on my bucket list. The sights, sounds, and smells of Copenhagen came alive on the page.
Of course as she begins the journey forward, she explores new “firsts” and lives outside the box. She also begins to test her boundaries with other men after realizing some truths about her handsome husband. Being inside Sanya’s head was not a bad place to be for just under 300 pages. The bedroom romping, the daring dates and dancing, the pure boldness of some characters and Sanya’s call it like you see it attitude kept me engaged until the end. There were also many moments that pressed the reader to think about regarding marriage, fidelity, what constitutes an affair and being equally present in a relationship.
Great book for a juicy discussion, especially is the participants are willing to open up to one another.
Quotes I liked:
Anxiety is depression’s good friend, and sometimes they party together.”
-“Love is recognizing yourself in another.”
-“Sometimes soul mates don’t meet at the right time.”