Saris And A Single Malt – Book Review

Saris And A Single Malt

Saris And A Single Malt by Sweta Srivastava Vikram – Book Review

Sooner or later, there will come a day when we receive news that we can never quite prepare ourselves for – news that will firever change the trajectory of our lives. On that day, we will learn that the woman who gave us life is about to leave this world – or has already departed.

On Friday, May 30, 2014, after receiving word that her mother had unexpectedly fallen ill and was in ICU, Sweta Srivastava Vikram boarded a plane to New Delhi to be by her mother’s side.

Over the next 36 hours – from the time that she boarded the plane to the time when Sweta’s mum received her last rites – Sweta, an award-winning writer and acclaimed poet whose works include the brilliant book, Wet Silence, processed her whirlwind of emotions as she does best – on paper, through the power of the pen, through potent poetry.

Saris And A Single Malt is Sweta’s latest collection of poetry – another stunning collection that expresses the raw, poignant and heartfelt emotion she experienced during the 36 hours leading up to her mother’s death.

What is so beautiful about this book is that it expresses Sweta’s personal experiences and relationship with her Mom, but it also puts into words the emotions that so many of us feel but are unable to express when we are saying good-bye to our own mothers.

Saris And A Single Malt is a collection of poems that must be read as a whole because – while each poem has the power to stand on its own individually – it is in its entirety that you grasp the entire story of Sveta’s loss, grief, and her relationship with her mother.

In Friday, May 30, 2014, she goes through the first stage of grief – denial – by questioning the whole nightmare she finds herself in:

I think it is a bad joke – Mumma isn’t sick
I had spoken with her two days ago
and promised to cook, Kalam Polow
when I saw her next.
She and Papa were headed to Kashmir;
did destiny take a detour?

In Serendipity, she sets the stage for the heartbreak that’s to come:

Little do I know, the sun has already set in New Delhi
where my mother is playing
Russian Roulette
with death.

Sari expresses the cry of a daughter’s heart when she asks the question, Why Didn’t You Wait For Me?

And – as she writes – It’s Not Easy to say good-bye and to deal with loss.

It’s in our silence
that you hear goodbye.
It’s in our tears
that you see the marks your absence left behind.

Saris And A Single Malt is a powerful and cathartic read for anyone who is dealing with loss and is trying to heal with grief. I highly encourage you to read this book by a woman who has become one of my favorite contemporary poets.

I rate this book 5 out of 5 stars!

About Sweta Srivastava Vikram

Sweta Vikram

Sweta Srivastava Vikram, featured by Asian Fusion as “One of the most influential Asians of our time,” is an award-winning writer, three times Pushcart Prize nominee, Amazon bestselling author of nine books, novelist, poet, essayist, and columnist who currently lives in New York City with her husband.

Her work has appeared in several anthologies, literary journals, and online publications across nine countries in three continents.

A graduate of Columbia University, Sweta reads her work, teaches creative writing workshops, and gives talks at universities and schools across the globe.


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Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the publisher for review purposes. The opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.

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9 Responses to “Saris And A Single Malt – Book Review”

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  1. Serena says:

    Thank you so much for being on the tour. This collection rocked me. It’s a gut check.

  2. Great review! I’m reading and reviewing this week too. Looking forward to it. 🙂

  3. LuAnn Braley says:

    Wow…sounds powerful. TBR’d on GoodReads

  4. Suko says:

    Excellent review of this powerful and touching poetry collection! I am also quite a fan of Sweta Srivastava Vikram, and am on this tour as well.

  5. I’m not a big poetry fan, but this looks great. It sounds very moving. I hadn’t heard of this author before – will have to look for her!


    Book By Book

  6. I’ve never heard of this poet before. Thanks for introducing us. Thanks for sharing this post at Booknificent Thursday on!


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