A Distant Heart takes up the story that was started in a Change of Heart. Now the focus is on Rahul the police officer chasing down a criminal ring who steal hearts on the black market.
Rahul has suffered much loss in his life, he comes from a poor family and has always fought his way courageously through life. Growing up he made friends with Kimi, a young girl who has severe immune problems She’s locked up in her safe “tower”. Eventually it will lead to heart failure and the need for a new heart.
The book moves between their younger lives together and their lives now. I found that a little disconcerting, yet it filled in the background of both of them. Kimi is much loved, her parents take great care of her in their way, but is their way best? Her father – Kirit, has told Rahul that Kimi can never be his, and even though Kirit knows Kimi sparkles around Rahul he will not give his blessing.
However Kirit is being blackmailed and the person who was shot in the last book and severely wounded is now more or less up and about and out to do damage to Kimi and Rahul.
Kimi has many challenges to face down, many truths to come to grips with, and the way she does tells how strong she is and how wise. Rahul because of all the losses he has experienced has learned to act often out of fear, to dampen down his feelings and live within a self imposed wall. Can he become a whole human being and learn to live with a heart that accepts that fear is not the way for living.
I enjoyed reading the book, seeing the case solved, justice meted out and Kimi and Rahul finding their happy for now.
The story is set in India, Mumbai and follows two people, Kimi and Rahul, as they form an unlike friendship. They come from two completely different worlds; Kimi is rich, whereas Rahul is extremely poor. However they somehow make it work and they form a very strong bond between them.
When the story begins, Kimi and Rahul are not in, let’s say, speaking terms. For some reason their bond and trust has been broken. Through flashbacks, the reader learns how this friendship started and how they came to be this inseparable duo. And for me these were the best parts of the whole book; we got so much insight on each character, so much backstory and it made the plot come together and the characters to feel fleshed out and real.
Kimi as a character is very interesting. Despite all the money she has, she has had to face many difficulties which made her tough. But next to her toughness there is also an immense amount of positivity and optimism. Her optimist is a little annoying at times -maybe that’s just a me issue cause I’m not the most optimistic person on the planet and cheerfulness gets on my nerves heh– and I really, really, really disliked her constant use of “thank you very much”. GOD THAT WAS SO ANNOYING!
Anyway, moving on to Rahul. Ah, Rahul *swoons*. He is THE tortured, broody, poor, thinks he’s not good enough, male lead. His backstory was a lil bit too tragic but it’s fiction so I don’t really care. I really liked we got to see a character that is actually poor. If you follow me on twitter you may have seen me complaining about this issue before and it was so refreshing finally seeing it in a story. His family lives in a chawl (click on the word to get to the wikipedia page if you don’t know what it is) and they barely make ends meet. They struggle with money and they don’t buy new clothes and toys every other day.
Now the romance aspect. In case you didn’t get it from all the above this is a best friends to lovers book. But BEWARE! If you cannot handle slowburn and you are tempted to burn the book in the pyre to save yourself from the torture like me ahem, do not pick this up. Otherwise it was good. Even though this is a romance novel, the focus isn’t so heavy on the romance. There is another subplot running which was more on the mystery/ crime genre.
One thing I liked very very much is the use of Marathi words. Whenever I read a book and the plot is set outside the US, I like getting those little words ’cause they make me feel more connected to the setting and the plot. So that’s a plus!
Final thoughts: A Distant Heart is a romance novel with beautiful writing, set in India featuring Indian characters which will for sure captivate your heart! Definitely recommend!