The Accidental Apprentice by Vikas Swarup


  This book is about Sapna Sinha, a sales girl who “accidentally” meets billionaire Vinay Mohan Acharya, a businessman. Acharya wants Sapna to take seven Life Tests in order to see if she is the one who will run his business after he dies. The book is not only about the seven tests, but also about Sapna’s life, family and relationships. On the surface, Sapna is not a person you would think that a billionaire would want to leave his fortune and business to upon his death. However, as the book continues, we learn that she is indeed an honorable person. Without going into detail, the seven tests are a way for Acharya and us, the readers, to see exactly what sort of person Sapna is.

      I found this book interesting and extremely readable not only for the plot, which was fast-paced and thrilling, but also for the slices of Indian life it afforded me. As someone who reads in order to learn (what more enjoyable way is there to learn than by reading a novel), I felt as though I was there on the busy, hot and humid city streets with Sapna, seeing and feeling through her eyes. The seven tests were real-life tests that Sapna is at first not aware.  Sapnas’ relationships with the other characters in the novel were a way for the writer to tell us of her family history, and also how she managed to cope with the curve balls that life had thrown at her and her family.

      I thought this book was both plausible and enjoyable. When I read a novel, I want it to do a variety of things for me. Some of these things include: bring me into another world; teach me something; and entertain me. Not only did this book fulfill my criteria, I also found Sapna to be a character that was interesting, personable, and most importantly someone to root for. And, I really like reading a book in which I find the main character someone that I can relate to and cheer on. This book fit the bill, plus the ending was a nice surprise. I highly recommend it!


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