I often hear from people that they want books that are “different.” This can mean all sorts of things, of course, but often it’s as simple as something a little out of the box, beyond the usual, not quite fitting within the usual parameters of what it is someone usually reads.

If you feel you’re a reader who would like to discover such authors, let me introduce you to Falguni Kothari. Her most recent title, THE OBJECT OF YOUR AFFECTIONS, released last month and deals with family, friendship, the burdens of convention and expectations, and, at the heart of the plot, but also as the reason for navigating all of these issues, surrogacy. 

Two best friends rewrite the rules of friendship, love and family…and change everything they thought they knew about motherhood

Paris Kahn Fraser has it all—a successful career as an assistant district attorney, a beautiful home in New York City, and a handsome, passionate husband who chose her over having a family of his own. Neal’s dream of fatherhood might have been the only shadow in their otherwise happy life…until Paris’s best friend comes to town.

Naira Dalmia never thought she’d be a widow before thirty. Left reeling in the aftermath of her husband’s death, all she wants is to start over. She trades Mumbai for New York, and rigid family expectations for the open acceptance of her best friend. After all, there isn’t anything she and Paris wouldn’t do for each other.

But when Paris asks Naira to be their surrogate, they’ll learn if their friendship has what it takes to defy society, their families and even their own biology as these two best friends embark on a journey that will change their lives forever.

Wry, daring and utterly absorbing, The Object of Your Affections is an unforgettable story about two women challenging the norms…and the magic that happens when we choose to forge our own path.

Last Love Story Kothari’s books explore subjects that go beyond love stories, but still explore the romantic journey. They are fascinating character studies, which use those characters to explore complex choices. She writes romantic stories with happy endings, but the journey is distinctly unconventional. Also, characters in this title and in 2018’s MY LAST LOVE STORY are from India’s elite social class, financially wealthy enough to have households in two or more countries, elements which bring their own challenges to decision-making, especially when, like Paris and Naira, you’re trying to reinvent yourself, stake your own claim on your life goals, or have children in non-traditional ways.

Kothari takes relatable subjects—friendship, betrayal, independence, family pressure—and creatively weaves them in with a hint of taboo: love triangles; trail-blazing women and the men who love them but aren't always sure what to do with them; possible Madoff-level financial misconduct and its aftermath. Then she adds her own special touch of international jet-setting; the intense uncertainty of being a strong woman with familial, professional and social bonds that don’t always appreciate you; and the balancing act, particularly for women, of honoring yourself while loving other people.

Her books are special, blending intensity, humor and emotional depth; both fun and thought-provoking. I hope you’ll check them out.

(I had the privilege of interviewing the author last year, when MY LAST LOVE STORY released. If you’re interested, you can find it here.)

What are you reading this week?