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One Hundred Shades of White

3.83  ·  Rating details ·  781 ratings  ·  62 reviews
A magical mixture of East meets West, and mothers in conflict with daughters – for anyone who enjoyed ‘Bend it like Beckham’ but prefers food to football…

There's East. There's West. And then there's Maya…

Maya, her mother Nalini, and her brother Satchin have left a carefree life in India to come to England. But when Maya's father disappears, leaving only deceit and debt beh
Paperback, 294 pages
Published December 10th 2010 by HarperCollins (first published January 1st 2003)
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Average rating 3.83  · 
Rating details
 ·  781 ratings  ·  62 reviews

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Indrani Sen
May 23, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: india
While the book started on a ho-hum note, the story picked up nicely from 2nd chapter. The characters were drawn well and I formed an emotional connect with them. This is the story of a homemaker who was ditched by her errant husband in a foreign country. How the lady survives with her two children and their continued saga of trials and tribulations is interesting.

On the con side, the food descriptions went wrong on basic stuff twice at least. There were parallels (almost too many) between the g
Jun 06, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone in for a good story
Shelves: favorites
This was a wonderful story of a girl born in India, traditional family, then moved to London, her life in london, then her return to India and back to London. All the while learning about her life, cooking, indian culture, and enjoying the story.
May 27, 2011 rated it liked it
Reminiscent of The Mistress Of Spices.
Gorab Jain
Decent story. Good writing style.
Descriptions on different spices inducing various characteristics was good. Read it with Inny, and as she rightly pointed in her review, there were quite some inaccuracies related to cooking and menu.

Overall a pleasant read. But not something I'd recommend.
May 19, 2016 rated it really liked it
Very well written, with two protagonists - mother and daughter, telling their stories, giving their own perspectives to the same situation. A beautiful concept wonderfully executed!
It is about culture conflicts and how one adapts oneself to changing cultural environments depending on ones upbringing. It also establishes a relationship between aromas with memories and attitudes. All this is beautifully delineated in the characters uniquely woven.
It is also about women empowerment and how when the
Mar 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Just how as adults we realize that the world is not always black and white, Preethi Nair weaves a beautiful story to portray that there are several shades of ‘white’ and innumerable aspects in life contributing to joy and sadness. Forced by circumstances in life, Nalini uproots herself and her two children (Maya and Sachin) to move to London leaving behind her mother in hometown Kerala. The trials and tribulations and the success and failures in these lives of Nalini and Maya and how they overco ...more
Jun 01, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I really loved this book- it was very well written, the characters were coming off the pages, and the narration was done amazingly. It was a sweet book, but still with a good slap-in-the-face feeling, too. Awesome, awesome, awesome, is all I can say.
Niki Byrne
Aug 11, 2011 rated it really liked it
Another suprising read - I really enjoyed this and I wasn't really expecting to. It was well written and a lovely story. ...more
Aug 29, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
a life story of hindu-english girl which describes sentimental objects quite well
Linda Botha
Jan 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing
One of the best books ever read!
Jan 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
When 100 shades of white was published it was highlighted on the New In shelf at my local library. This was 2010 and way before I'd heard of Goodreads! I read it in one sitting spellbound. I've never forgotten the book although I had forgotten the title, other than it had the word white in it. A few years ago I eventually located it and bought a copy. It's been on my tbr pile for a while. Picked it up a few days ago and started. I had forgotten all the storylines apart from Maya being discontent ...more
Shiva Priya
Sep 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
This was a really lovely book. The subtle change of povs between mother and daughter and they story woven through their eyes was well done. Loved Maya's self realization. Travelling all over only to realize your feet always lead you home. Spluttering and smoking with the delicateness of South Indian cooking, is the right amount of tempering treatment given to the story. ...more
Jul 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A wonderful book that shows the reader lies don't remain hidden. ...more
Rishika Bhashyakarla
Oct 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
Captivating narration ! Reading this book was like tasting a wonderful recipe cooked to perfection. I thoroughly enjoyed every page of it !
Rohini Bij
May 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It's a heart warming story.. one to keep and re read at a later point as it warms up the soul... I would certainly recommend this book to anyone... ...more
Lynn Heinrich
May 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
There are no words to describe this book! I felt so much, I‘m completely overwhelmed. I cried of happiness, sadness, laughter and so on. I could FEEL this book! Definitely one of my favorites!
Sandrine  Abrahams
Jun 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
One of my favorites
Savita Ramsumair

Preethiji has outdone herself once more. I love she deals with a range of themes affecting us as a family and individually. I cried towards the end.
Aisha Durrani
May 31, 2020 rated it did not like it
Waste of time and money, a very immature write, I wasn’t expecting to be so disappointed, but I was.
I have decided to read a few paragraphs before committing myself to buying a book.
Aug 13, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book, very touching, real and rich in details.
Jun 15, 2016 rated it really liked it
This book was a nice experience for me. I read this book as a part of travelling readathon that’s happening on Instagram among few of us Indians. When the readathon started and this was the book to be circulated, I went ahead and read the synopsis on goodreads. It was a very filmy types and I had the feeling that the story is predictable.
Yes the story was predictable but then there was more to the story. The Indian spices playing an integral part in the story. The story is narrated by two point
Jan 10, 2011 rated it liked it
Maya, her mother Nalini, and her brother Satchin have left a carefree life in India to come to England. But when Maya’s father disappears, leaving only deceit and debt behind, they are left to fend for themselves in a strange, damp land. Maya, though, doesn’t know of her father’s betrayal. Nalini, determined to preserve her children’s pride, tells them that their father died in an accident and, as their struggle to make a life begins, whole realities are built on this lie. But even a white lie ...more
The Cats’ Mother
Not my usual kind of book, I almost gave up on this after the first 20 or so pages as the language was strange, but persisted and am really glad I did. Told from the point of view of both daughter and mother in turn, it's about Nalini, a poor girl in India who marries above her station, and has to move her family to England to join her husband, only to be abandoned by him. Wanting to spare her children, she tells them he has died, and they begin a new life in the East End of London, where she us ...more
Geetika Arora
Mar 02, 2013 rated it really liked it
This is story of love, forgiveness, letting go, belief and most importantly treating oneself worthy of things that we actually deserve. It tells one can find ll inspiration, happiness and peace when he or she does the thing he/she loves the most. It appears to be a story whose basic storyline is similar to any hindi TV serial storyline but the way in which it is written gives you small small pieces of wisdom after every 10 pages. So much to learn from amamma, nalni and maya. With their passion o ...more
Maninder Singh
May 10, 2016 rated it liked it
A tale of a girl who falls in love, leaves the comfort's of her home only to be later cheated and left alone with her children in a foreign land. one hundred shades of white is a story of how Maya copes through the pain of raising her children all by herself. lying to her children only to avoid the grief that truth brings with it.
Maya working, starving, crying only to be looked back upon with hatred by the children who do not know that she have up her prime years only for them.
Aug 13, 2007 rated it it was amazing
On the familiar lines of herbs and spices being the wood and glue of a home...

Still, the novel has great impact on the difficulties of an immigrant family trying to assimilate into a new culture while maintaining their own identity, the gap and tension between generations, love, loss and family life
Bindu Manoj
This is a book that could have turned out into something really great. Three generations of women, healing through spices (sounds a bit like mistress of spices), a father who is never there - the theme was quite interesting.
Skipped through many a page, but was still curious to know how it ended. An okay read
Aug 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction, london
I really enjoyed this book! It had so much wisdom in it that if I wanted to write out quotes, I should have copied the whole book.
Anyone who is in search of themselves and also enjoys the settings like London, India, Spain would love this.
Beware! This book can make you crave for spicy Asian food ;)
Jan 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
Mothers and daughters and the volatile relationship that it can be. Misunderstandings that caused much heartache and finally the knowledge that led to forgiveness. All about the shades of truth in it's many forms and combined with the art of cooking and it's believed connections to our emotions and our dreams. Indian cooking that had a recipe to improve anything if you truly believed. ...more
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