🎧 The Vibrant Years by Sonali Dev @Sonali_Dev @soneela #BrillianceAudio #LoveAudiobooks #KindleUnlimited🎧 @snyderbridge4

Posted December 12, 2022 by Robin in Book Review / 17 Comments

Review copy was received from Publisher. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

🎧 The Vibrant Years by Sonali Dev @Sonali_Dev @soneela  #BrillianceAudio #LoveAudiobooks #KindleUnlimited🎧 @snyderbridge4The Vibrant Years by Sonali Dev
Narrator: Soneela Nankani, Deepti Gupta, Anita Kalathara
Published by Brilliance Audio on December 1, 2022
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Length: 11 hours, 1 minute
Format: Audiobook
Source: Publisher
One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star

When sixty-five-year-old Bindu Desai inherits a million dollars, she’s astounded―and horrified. The windfall threatens to expose a shameful mistake from her youth. On an impulse, Bindu quickly spends it on something unexpected: a condo in a posh retirement community in Florida.

The impulsive decision blindsides Bindu’s daughter-in-law, Aly. At forty-seven, Aly still shares a home with Bindu even after her divorce from Bindu’s son. But maybe this change is just the push Aly needs to fight for her own dreams.

As Bindu and Aly navigate their new dynamic, Aly’s daughter, Cullie, is faced with losing the business that made her a tech-world star. The only way to save it is to deliver a new idea to her investors―and they want the dating app she pitched them in a panic. Problem is, Cullie has never been on a real date. Naturally, enlisting her single mother and grandmother to help her with the research is the answer.

The Vibrant Years is a standalone multigenerational story about three very different women.   They stand by each other and try to lift one another up in the best ways they know how.  Each of them is currently fighting for a dream of sorts and trying to make their way through this time of endless opportunities, if you just learn how to get out of your own way.

I have been watching Never Have I Ever on Netflix and it is really one of my favorite shows.  One reason is that there are multiple women living in a home and looking out for each other.  This book isn’t really like the show, by any means, other than it has the same cultural undertones but it is about a culture I find interesting and would like to read more books about, or after reading this book would like to watch some Bollywood films.  Sonali Dev captures some great moments and real feelings in this story.

I loved all three women, but I especially adored Bindu.  We get a glimpse into the story of her youth when she was free and wild and was the star of a Bollywood film that was way ahead of its time.  In the beginning of every chapter, we get a snippet of information about how she bewitched the director and lead actor of that film to become the love of his life.  When he died, he left her a million dollars and it has brought back old feelings and memories of the life she could have had if she had made different choices, or had different choices.  She was a devoted wife and the best grandmother and everyone knows her larger than life personality.  She lives like she is perfect in her own skin, but some of that is a lie and an act she has put on for the world.  She is a very good actress.

“But living life on her own terms meant she had to be intentional about it. She refused to let her choices be mere acts of rebellion”

Aly and Callie are Bindu’s daughter-in-law and granddaughter.  They, too, are at important crossroads of their lives.  Aly in her job at a news station has a great opportunity but she is going to have to fight to keep it against some cultural and age biases.   Callie is a wiz and at twenty-five has invented an app that helps people with anxiety.  Her employer now wants to make it subscription based which would make it less accessible to the people who use it.  Callie needs a new idea to keep it off subscription, on a whim she volunteers a dating app, but she doesn’t have one and has no idea about how dating is supposed to work.  Good thing she knows two other single women to help her figure out this whole dating thing.

There are great heartfelt moments in this book; there are funny dating disasters also.  I really liked all the characters on their journey of self discovery.  Callie trying to figure out why people her age care about dating.  Aly working through the expectations that used to be in her marriage and going after her dream full force.  And Bindu living out loud and dating again for the first time in twenty years. Each woman brings a unique PoV to the story and I loved them all.  I was just sad when the book came to a close, because I could have followed the women around even longer as they took on the world together.

“We modeled strength for Cullie. Together. She saw you support me in my goals, in my ambition. Even when my own marriage made that an ugly word. She saw you being comfortable in your skin. Even when it was hard.”


Deepti Gupta, Soneela Nankani and Anita Kalathara bring a different voice to each character.  They are wonderful at making each woman feel unique.  I love that, depending on the character, the different accent level is brought to the woman really is part of their character.  Bindu grew up in India and has been in the United States 25 years, Aly grew up in an Indian home in the United states and Callie has spent her entire life in United States.  Each has a unique voice and accent level because of that.  The narrators did a great job of bring not only that but the level of life experience to each voice.  So well done, I was able to listen at my usual 1.5x speed.

Listen to a clip: HERE


About Soneela Nankani

Soneela Nankani is a classically trained Brooklyn-based actress. She has performed at many prestigious theaters and is an ensemble member of the award-winning Sojourn Theatre. In addition, Soneela has worked in film and television and has narrated over 60 audiobooks. Soneela holds an MFA in Acting from Columbia University.

Award-winning Audiobook Narrator with 250+ titles / Consultant in Arts + Social Justice / Ensemble Member. In June 2021, Soneela Nankani was inducted as a Golden Voice, AudioFile’s lifetime achievement honor for audiobook narrators.

About Sonali Dev

Sonali Dev’s first literary work was a play about mistaken identities performed at her neighborhood Diwali extravaganza in Mumbai. She was eight years old. Despite this early success, Sonali spent the next few decades getting degrees in architecture and written communication, migrating across the globe, and starting a family while writing for magazines and websites. With the advent of her first gray hair her mad love for telling stories returned full force, and she now combines it with her insights into Indian culture to conjure up stories that make a mad tangle with her life as supermom, domestic goddess, and world traveler.

Sonali lives in the Chicago suburbs with her very patient and often amused husband and two teens who demand both patience and humor, and the world’s most perfect dog.

Rating Breakdown
One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star
One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star
One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarOne Star
One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star
Narration (Audio)
One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star
Overall: One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star
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Posted December 12, 2022 by Robin in Book Review / 17 Comments

17 responses to “🎧 The Vibrant Years by Sonali Dev

  1. I love this author’s Raja series, but wasn’t sure about this one since it’s more women’s fiction than romance. But it sounds great – she creates such amazing characters. Thanks for the review.