All Inclusive by Farzana Doctor

25047101A 25-year-old man loses his virginity to a woman on the rebound and she never sees him again. Nine months later a baby girl is born.

A man steps onto Air India 182 and disappears forever, changing the course of many lives.

A young woman has a confusing relationship with her ex (i.e. they are still attracted to each other like magnets even though he has a new girlfriend), so decides to flee to Mexico to work at an All-Inclusive resort. While she’s there, she starts experimenting with her sexuality; having one-night stands with married couples who are there as tourists. She thinks she is being discreet, but a formal complaint is made.

A father has just discovered that he has a daughter and starts searching for her. It takes him years. (This is, in my opinion, the best part of the book, especially because of the way it’s done).

A woman has never known her father and wonders where he is and if she will ever meet him.

Explores themes of identity, death, grief, and the afterlife. There’s a lot of cultural diversity without drawing attention to the fact that there’s a lot of cultural diversity. It also seems to be attempting to break down stereotypes surrounding swingers and open marriages.

I was curious about why Farzana Doctor chose some of the story lines that she did, so I googled it and found this interview.

If any of this intrigues you, then you might like this book. I ended up enjoying the read, but still feel confused about what I really think about it, and how I would classify it. Some reviewers have taken issue with the fact that such a serious event (Air India 182) was thrown into an otherwise lighter read. I’m okay with just about anything thrown into my books, but it did feel odd. A few other things felt odd, too. But, you know… something to ponder…  I’d love to hear someone else’s take on it!

I do still want to read Farzana Doctor’s Six Metres of Pavement. I have a feeling I’ll like that one more.





17 thoughts on “All Inclusive by Farzana Doctor

    • Naomi says:

      Oh, whoops! You’re right, I have made it sound like a short story collection, but it’s not! I was just trying to find a way to write about it without giving too much away. There were things I really wanted to talk about that would have given away too much about the most interesting aspects of the book (the afterlife story line, for example).
      Some of these story lines overlap each other, so there aren’t as many as it sounds like! If it intrigues you at all, it’s a quick read that kind of cleans the palate. It was different from most of the books I read; for me in a good way. But I could tell from some of the Goodreads reviews that was not the case for everyone.

  1. Read Diverse Books says:

    Your short descriptions of the stories do make them sound rather interesting. But I assume that taken collectively, there’s much left to be desired.

    I’m slowly growing fonder of short story collections but am still waiting for the one that will blow me away like a novel is able to.

    • Naomi says:

      I really did make this sound like a short story collection, but it’s actually a novel. I wrote the review that way because I wanted to tell what was going on without showing how they were connected, so that I wouldn’t give too much away. This book did give me some things to think about!

  2. lauratfrey says:

    I’ve been curious about this one. Sounss similar to Between by Angie Abdou. I’m scared to read Six Metres because of the subject matter (death of young child)

    • Naomi says:

      Very few subject matters scare me. I don’t know why. It’s certainly not because I’m not sensitive to them, because I cry when I read all the time. 🙂
      I say if you’re curious, you should read it! This one doesn’t take long, and I found it kind of unique.

    • Naomi says:

      I mentioned in another comment that many of these storylines are overlapping, but I wrote about them as though they were separate so as not to give away the connections between them. It was hard to write about this book without giving away the surprising/unique bits!

  3. priscilla says:

    This sounds interesting. I hate when I review a book and feel like if I say too much about what I’m thinking, I’ll give everything away. Sometimes it makes me wonder why I write about books in the first place, since the best part next to reading a book is discussing a book!

    • Naomi says:

      I wonder that, too, sometimes. But, if there is someone who has read it, sometimes it’s possible to discuss it cryptically in the comments. In this case, I wasn’t expecting many other people to have read it anyway. 🙂
      I did want to say something about how the thought of ghosts watching us from the spirit world makes me feel a little uncomfortable. Even though I also like that idea. How about you?

  4. lailaarch says:

    I think I’m going to have to add it to the Goodreads TBR. You made it sound very intriguing. And I liked what I read from the interview you linked to. I’ve never read this author before.

    • Naomi says:

      This was my first book by the author as well, but I have been meaning to read one of her older books for ages. Funny how we often end up reading the most recent book, then work our way back. Let me know what you think if you decide to read it!

  5. Vijayalakshmi Harish says:

    I have to admit I was very apprehensive about the book going in because I really couldn’t see how everything would connect. But the author did do a good job. Lovely review! I like how you’ve mentioned each storyline separately.

    • Naomi says:

      Thanks! One of the things I think it has going for it is the fact that you don’t really know where it’s all going to go. That can be fun!

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