Mirror Made of Rain

Naheed Phiroze Patel

Despite an embarrassing, alcoholic mother, Noomi Wadia is loathe to change her own hard-partying ways simply because it's what's expected in Kamalpur high society.

As her peers begin to marry and her social obligations become more fraught, she finds herself under constant scrutiny at summer parties of the city’s upper crust. With her options in her hometown growing increasingly limited, Noomi leaves for Mumbai and quickly becomes a successful journalist. There she falls in love with Veer, who appreciates her for exactly who she is. When Noomi and Veer decide to marry, Noomi must observe a host of patriarchal wedding rituals at the behest of her new in-laws, whose cultural customs deviate from her own. Soon, Noomi realizes that her worst fears have come to pass — she is trapped in the same cycle of self-destructiveness as her mother, and she must battle her impulses or risk losing it all. A riveting exploration of class and tradition in contemporary India, Noomi is as quick-witted as she is quick-tempered. At times funny and tragic, taking place over many years of Noomi's life, Naheed Phiroze Patel's exhilarating debut novel shows how society encourages us to see ourselves through the eyes of others.

Praise for Mirror Made of Rain

"The writing is sharp, beautiful, very evocative. The characters pop off the page and are instantly recognizable. Noomi is so achingly human and alive. I love the subtlety of Patel’s hand in the way she depicts Noomi and her world in MIRROR MADE OF RAIN. Everything feels so lush and gorgeous as the story at the heart of the novel emerges and eventually coheres to devastating effect."
Brandon Taylor, author of REAL LIFE

"MIRROR MADE OF RAIN is luminous — a blistering and unflinching commentary on family, love, pain, addiction and destruction. We are lucky to have Naheed Phiroze Patel writing."

"Here's what I wasn't expecting when I sat down to read MIRROR MADE OF RAIN: I wasn't expecting it to be so damn funny. The writing is smart, playful, broad in its frame of reference, political without being pedantic. The parties are horrifying and endlessly fascinating. Patel is an incredibly talented writer."
Victor LaValle, author of THE CHANGELING

"A moving, multifaceted portrait of a modern young woman whose 21st century mores can’t quite protect her from the gravitational force of traditional expectations, which arrive like a sort of slow-motion car crash you can’t stop watching. I fell in love with Noomi and rooted for her all the way through."
Susan Bernofsky, Guggenheim Fellow, author of CLAIRVOYANT OF THE SMALL: THE LIFE OF ROBERT WALSER

"Naheed Phiroze Patel paints a delicate and ironic portrait of small town India as seen through the rueful and self-ironizing eyes of a young Parsi who will not make a grab for the brass ring."
Jerry Pinto, author of EM AND THE BIG HOOM

"A piercing, glittering reflection on familial trauma and addiction, Patel's writing is sharp as the shards of a smashed mirror."
Doireann Ní Ghríofa, Author of A GHOST IN THE THROAT

"MIRROR MADE OF RAIN is full of vibrant observational details and humor. The cast of main characters Patel has pulled together is maddeningly true to life."

"Patel’s gut-wrenching debut offers a looking glass into the luxurious homes of Indian high society... Patel succeeds in depicting the ways the upper class can be a gilded cage for women: while men enjoy the freedom of public life and conspicuous consumption, the women are merely another thing to be judged, used, and discarded: 'Women are Bombay real estate,' says Noomi’s cousin. It’s a chilling story."
Publishers Weekly ,