Book Review - Haveli

"I use Grammarly's plagiarism checker because I'm allergic to copy cats"

This post is for UBC Day 16.

Title: Haveli (e-book)

A romance novella set in Cholistan in the 1970s.

The book page on Indireads:

The book page on Goodreads:

Available to buy on Amazon:

Written By: Zeenat Mahal

About Zeenal Mahal (Few lines from the Novella) –

Zeenat Mahal (@zeenat4indireads) is an avid reader and has been writing for as long as she
can remember. She has an MPhil in English literature from Government College Lahore and
is currently doing an MFA in creative writing from Kingston University, London. She won a
BBC short story competition in 2001 and has been a regular contributor to newspapers.

Zeenat has eclectic tastes and an insatiable desire to learn. Her romances are a heady mix of
the traditional and the contemporary, old world values face the challenges of a shrinking globe
that impinge upon and help shape South Asian sensibilities.

‘Haveli’ is Zeenat’s first of two published novellas. Currently she is working on a literary
novel with elements of magical realism, while continuing to write romances. She can be
contacted on her FB page

Zeenat currently lives in Kingston Upon Thames with her fabulous sons.

Rating:  4/5

Now for my View:

When I was approached for book reviews by Indireads, they provided me a list of novellas to chose from. And there I read the blurb about Haveli. It read A romance novella set in Cholistan in the 1970s. The mere mention of a tale set soemwhere in the 1970s was enough for me to take it up before any other novella. What can I say I have a weak spot for stories set in times of yore!

Haveli  is the tale of a twenty year old Pakistani girl, Chandni, born into an Nawabi family. Deserted by her father and left by her heart broken mother in the care of her grandmother Zaitoon Begum, the widow of the last Nawab of Jalalabad, she grew up home-schooled just as a princess would have. With romantic and dreamy notions of the happily every after she fell in love with a man twice her age Kunwar Rohail Khanzada. But then came into her life a man who didn't seem to be left in awe of her charm. It was the first time a man had seen right through her. He told her things about herself that she hadn't even spoken out loud or even thought about. Taimur was not like any other man she had met, he challenged her mentally and more often than not got on her nerves. She hated the fact that he was right about her or that he saw how she was throwing herself at Kunwar. While she battled Taimur whom she named Alpha Male, suddenly the unexpected occurred. Her father walked back into her life. While everyone that loved her warned her of his motives, she was overjoyed. But what was he back for? Was it for his daughter truly or did he have some sinister motives? Did Chandni finally make Kunwar fall in love with her or did Alpha Male finally capture her fancy? Read to find out.

I began reading Haveli in office on a day when I had absolutely no work. And I finished it in a matter of 4 hours, it was such a pacey read. If you start with it there's no way you can stop without reaching the last page.

Pacey read!

There are several facets of Haveli that I liked, one being the generous use of characters from literature by the protagonists to get back at each other. While Chandni used names likes Heath cliff, Moriarty or Uriah Heep; Taimur got back at her with Medusaa.

The setting of the tale in the 1970s seemed real with the author being able to take you back in time. And any book that helps me time-travel occupies a special place in my heart. Also, the flow is smooth for I moved from one page to the other unaware of the surroundings near me. Zeenat Mahal has the knack of keeping the reader engaged till the very end.


All the characters in the book are well developed which is a really great asset for a yarn. Trust me it isn't easy to do so which makes Haveli gain a few more points in my view.

As a reader I was completely satisfied by the tale set in the 1970s. So I would definitely recommend it. I assure you Haveli will leave you wanting for the tale to go on forever. So go grab your copy soon!


My fellow Bloggers Richa SinghShilpa GargSheethal and Suzy are taking part in UBC. Drop in and cheer them too if you please :).Trust me nothing motivates us bloggers more than a comment from our readers!