Dava Shastri's Last Day (Hardcover)
December 2021 Indie Next List
“I’m a fan of obituaries — a life whittled down to a handful of words reveals a great deal. In Dava Shastri’s Last Day, we see the glorious backfire of secretly outliving your deepest secrets. Intriguing, fast-paced, thought provoking.”
— Ashley Warlick, M. Judson Booksellers & Storytellers, Greenville, SC
Ever wonder what will be said about you after you’re gone? Upon receiving a terminal diagnosis and choosing assisted suicide, weathy and powerful Dava Shastri gathers her four often-quarreling children and their families at her private island off the coast of New England. Her lawyer announces her death to the public, and Dava waits to see if her long devotion to philanthropic causes will be reflected in the tributes and obituaries that follow. But what she didn’t plan for was the revelation of some long-held and shocking secrets--secrets she had even kept from her adult children. As a blizzard builds, so does the family tension which Dava must resolve in the very limited time she has left in this world. Family relationships, inheritances, and obligations are all examined in this powerful novel.— From What's Shirley Wells Reading?
A GOOD MORNING AMERICA BOOK CLUB PICK
MOST ANTICIPATED IN FALL 2021 by TIME, The Washington Post, Bustle, Goodreads, and Debutiful • An Indie Next Pick • A Publishers Marketplace Buzz Book for Fall/Winter 2021 • Longlisted for the 2021 Center for Fiction First Novel Prize
In this thought-provoking and entertaining debut novel about of a multicultural family, a dying billionaire matriarch leaks news of her death early so she can examine her legacy—a decision that horrifies her children and inadvertently exposes secrets she has spent a lifetime keeping: "Full of music, magnetism, and familial obligation" (Emma Straub, author of All Adults Here).
Summoning her four adult children to her private island, she discloses shocking news: in addition to having a terminal illness, she has arranged for the news of her death to break early, so she can read her obituaries.
As someone who dedicated her life to the arts and the empowerment of women, Dava expects to read articles lauding her philanthropic work. Instead, her "death" reveals two devastating secrets, truths she thought she had buried forever.
And now the whole world knows, including her children.
In the time she has left, Dava must come to terms with the decisions that have led to this moment—and make peace with those closest to her before it's too late. Compassionately written and chock-full of humor and heart, this powerful novel examines public versus private legacy, the complexities of love, and the never-ending joys—and frustrations—of family.
"Kirthana Ramisetti has written a sweeping saga and also a poignant story about sacrifice and the exacting price of secrecy. Cinematic and intimate, Dava Shastri’s Last Day is an intricate story about family and love."—Devi S. Laskar, Author of The Atlas of Reds and Blues
"Dava Shastri's Last Day is a story about ambition and greatness, wealth and family, full of secrets, love, and music, and those eternal pop song complements: heartbreak and hope. It's a gripping, deeply satisfying story about one woman's tremendous life—and the infinitely complicated ways we create our own legacies."—Kate Racculia, Author of Tuesday Mooney Talks to Ghosts and Bellweather Rhapsody
"Ramisetti beautifully weaves keen analysis of celebrity culture and a deep love of music into this perceptive, intergenerational story of resentment, trauma, love, and redemption. A page-turner with humor, heart, and lots of pop music."—Jennifer Keishin Armstrong, New York Times bestselling author of Seinfeldia
"A hilarious and heartfelt narrative about legacy, power and privacy, all through the journey of a lively character who has limited time to make things right with the people she loves most."—Time magazine
"Ramisetti draws nuanced characters who are introspective and entertaining. A solid debut that will appeal to readers who enjoy quirky family stories."—Kirkus
"A thought-provoking family drama that will appeal to fans of All Adults Here by Emma Straub."—Booklist