Dr. Trisha Raje, a brilliant neurosurgeon, comes from Indian royalty and the privileged upbringing associated with it. Her family is insular and reluctant to trust outsiders. When Trisha trusted an outsider fifteen years ago, disaster ensued, and her relationships with her father and brother never fully recovered. But now that her older brother, Yash, is on the cusp of announcing his candidacy for governor, Trisha has an opportunity to mend the rift in her family.
Meanwhile, she is working on a challenging case. Emma Caine, an artist, has a brain tumor. Other doctors told her it was terminal, but Trisha can remove it—only it will leave Emma blind. Emma’s brother, DJ, leaves his prestigious job as a chef in Paris to be at his sister’s side. Not knowing their connection through Emma, Trisha and DJ meet when he caters a fundraising event. They immediately loath each other but try to put their distaste aside to convince Emma to agree to the surgery, although Trisha can’t deny she salivates over his food.
Trisha’s family, particularly her father, view her relationship with the Caines as a threat to the Raje family. DJ himself carries a secret that might damage Yash’s reputation if it comes to light. Trisha has to weigh her newfound yet vulnerable place in the family against her responsibilities as a physician and her personal desires while DJ worries about earning enough to pay for Emma’s medical bills.
For most of the novel, Trisha was quite unlikeable, though towards the end she gained some perspective. I did like that Trisha, Emma, and DJ were all so committed to their careers which were actually more like callings. Trisha had some interesting family members but they were underutilized, particularly her younger brother, Vansh, and her cousin Esha. Another cousin owned a restaurant that had once been successful though was now on the verge of bankruptcy; I was curious about the backstory there.
Food, of course, plays a dominant role in the book, and it’s interesting to see how preparing and eating food can connect people and break down boundaries, particularly the way DJ approaches a menu. Recipes can also be shared secrets that serve to bond characters. Besides taste, sight is an important sense in the book both for Emma and fir Trisha who cannot see without glasses or contact lenses.
This is, obviously, based on Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice which I haven’t read, but I did skim a summary. DJ’s real name is Darcy James. A journalist named Julia Wickham seems to serve the same purpose as the character on which she is based. As in the original, the lovers must overcome pride and prejudice before they can admit their true feelings for each other.
Pride, Prejudice, and Other Flavors is a light, breezy read, and I think that fans of romances or love stories will enjoy this in particular.