A Book Review: The Awakening of Meena Rawat


The Awakening of Meena Rawat is the second novel of Anoop Judge, an Indian-American blogger and author, that is about two lovers, Rumi and Meena. They met when they were teenagers in an orphanage in India where they experienced the harshness of life as members of the lowest caste, got separated because of Rumi's desire to have a better life,  and met unexpectedly several years after in Fremont, California.

Meena got married to another man, Bhavesh,  who belonged to a higher caste. Her marriage with him elevated her status in society. Together with their only child, they lived in California where Bhavesh operated his business and Meena worked indexing catalog records in a university.  Rumi, on the other hand,  became a multi-millionaire, Fortune 500 CEO but got divorced from his wife, Jane, whom he met at the University of New York.  

When Rumi saw Meena at the Vice-Chancellor party at CSU, his world turned upside down. He remembered how much he loved her, and that love was rekindled and intensified by his desire to be with her.  Meena felt the same but could they have a second chance at love?

The story of two young lovers who gave each other strength and hope in the midst of their ordeal just to be separated because of uncertainty and ambition is heart-breaking. My heart goes out to Meena who suffered the loss of her first love and the reverberations of having the lowest of the low position in the caste system in India even though she was already in America. Rumi belonged to the same caste as Meena but he believed that the status in the society assigned to him even before birth was not his eventual fate. He was decisive in pursuing his ambition by taking brazen actions that actually broke Meena's heart.

Overall, I  enjoyed reading the story because I find the author's prose beautiful and original.  Besides spinning an extraordinary love story,  she also explained the cultural aspects and social issues very well through illustrations, backstories, and dialogs. In addition to this, the way she described a place made me feel as if I was at that pace like in the orphanage, or in Meena's office, or at the airport. The author's writing left a great impression on me. 

I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a love story with heavy themes.

Thank you Anoop Judge, Black Rose Writing, and LibraryThing for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Discussion Questions

  1. Why do you think the author chose the title?

  2. What are the themes in the story?  

  3. Describe the main characters. What are their strengths and weaknesses?

  4. How does the author address the social issues mentioned in the story?

  5. What do you think about the ending?

Further Information

Title: The Awakening of Meena Rawat

Author: Anoop Judge

Genre: Romance

Publisher ‏ : ‎ Black Rose Writing (May 27, 2021)

Publication Date: May 27, 2021

Print length: 300 pages

ASIN ‏ : ‎ B092FJF84X