Kerala Hugged is a delightful and quirky travelogue, chronicling the author’s travels through this southern-most part of India. I travelled in Kerala a few years ago, so I agreed to review the book even though it’s well outside of what I usually review.
Ankur Mutreja has a very personal way of describing his relationships with landscapes, objects, and events. His description of muddy roads, busy towns, river trips, friendly people and home-stays brought back my own experiences there (I ate some of the best food I’ve ever eaten anywhere in the world in Kerala, the spice-growing area of India). As he wrote about free-wheeling down through the tea-gardens on his hired motorbike, I thought of all the people we had met doing exactly that.
The writing is lyrical, and it’s clear the author fell in love with this area (just as I did). It’s far from the usual travel book: you’re not going to read detailed reviews or directions, or a list of the top attractions. It’s much more personal than that! It’s his impressions, emotions, reactions to the location and his experiences there, much written in almost poetical language.
When I first wrote this review, I commented that the biggest lack in the book was a map. The author has since added one, much to the benefit of the reader who does not know southern India.
So…not a typical travelogue, but one I personally enjoyed. 4 stars.
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.