Still Lives, is a family saga about love, betrayal, and belonging.

At fifty-five, PK falls out of love with life. His business is struggling and his wife Geeta, is lonely, pining for the India she has left behind. One day, PK meets Esther, the wife of a business competitor and nothing is ever the same again.

The story provides a twist on the conventional immigrant story, by challenging assumptions regarding identity, assimilation and what it means to grow old and still be consumed by fires. It is relevant in the current global discourse around identity and distrust of ‘the outsider.

As part of SOUTH ASIAN HERITAGE MONTH 2022, I spoke about Still Lives and how Manchester has shaped the novel. Read my interview here.

Praise for Still Lives

“What if the sought after dream fails to live up to its promise? What if the choices one makes have rippling consequences with the potential for disaster? Reshma Ruia explores these possibilities and so much more in Still Lives.”

Review by Asha Krishna. June 28 2022

“Ruia’s incisive, deftly plotted book completely won me over. It is so nuanced, so intricately layered with all the debris and clutter of accumulated disappointments, heartache, longings and all the mess that comes with the business of living life. Nothing here is clear-cut; nothing is quite as simple as it seems at first… The final brilliant thing about Still Lives is the way Ruia creates a sense of tension, of the inevitability of disaster, and yet, when it hits, it is completely unexpected. I can’t say much more about the ending, but it is powerful, and it made me re-evaluate everything that had come before. I love the idea that even a first person confessional narrative can almost ‘miss the point,’ or rather, can have hidden truths within it that even the narrator can’t see. I don’t know if I am explaining this well at all – what I’m trying to say is that Still Lives does something really intelligent and original, something that I don’t think I’ve seen very often at all. I’m going to be thinking about this book for a long time.”

Review by Elspells. June 28 2022

– Still Lives as featured in The BookSeller’s Special edition on Northern Powerhouse in Literature. June 24 June 2022

“An absorbing, moving and unexpectedly powerful read; Ruia explores all manner of issues surrounding culture, belonging, alienation and the lies we tell ourselves to be able to carry on with our daily lives.”

Kaggsy’s Bookish Ramblings

“This novel is a stark picture of real life. People aren’t perfect. And life can be hard. And that is what is truly at the heart of Still Lives wonderfully captured in Reshma Ruia’s writing.”

This Is My Bookshelf

“An expertly crafted novel, filled with light-touch prose and inhabitable scenes, threaded with compelling and believable dialogue. It’s a book you can lose yourself in, and I did.”

– Adam Farrer, author of Cold Fish Soup

“An emotional, often gut-wrenching, story that looks at the impact of decisions you make and the impact they have on you and those around you – with often devastating consequences.”

Karen Mace, Books And Me!

“Mango is an important leitmotif in my novel. PK Malik, the main character of my novel, tries to grow a mango tree in his back garden. The tree serves as an umbilical cord connecting him to his past in Mumbai, and is also a symbol of hope for the future.”

Linda’s Book Bag

Still Lives is a tightly woven, haunting work that pulls apart the threads of a family and plays with notions of identity. Shortlisted for the SI Leeds Literary Prize.”

Once upon a time book reviews, Marnie Harrison

“After reading this book, I realised that it is such a powerful novel about a seemingly happy family looking on as an outsider, you would never know what really is happening behind closed doors.”

Echoes in an Empty Room, by Hannah

“This is a hard-hitting read and might cause a few people to discuss this book quite strongly.”

Still Lives, A Book Blog Tour Review

Still Lives is a heart-rending evocation of a life in crisis. Not only is the minutia of this life beautifully observed but Ruia nuances its varied aspects with tremendous agility: the yearning for fulfilment, the realisation of a certain finality, a quiet fury leading us to its brutal ending. This is your must-read book for the summer.”

Selma Carvalho in Joao-Roque Literary Journal. June 16, 2022

Still Lives is definitely a story that leaves you with a haunting feeling! Identity plays such a key role throughout this book and how one individuals identity can take over/become another individuals whole identity especially if that person is a spouse. If you love a story that is about love, betrayal and belonging then this is definitely a book for you!'”

Where’s There’s Ink There’s Paper. June 15, 2022

“Clever storytelling with vivid characters.”

bobsandbooks. June 16 2022

“A real story about family that I have to say I really enjoyed, there is something about the way Still Lives (Renard Press) by Reshma Ruia just lingers with you after you have read the last page. Very much character driven and wonderfully constructed and written.”

The Last Word Book Review. June 17 2022

“This book grabs you from the get-go. Compelling characters, fantastic prose, sexy, funny and wise.”

– Heidi James, author of The Sound Mirror and So the Doves

“This book had my attention from the first page. Stunning. Heartbreaking. And so very real.”

– Khurrum Rahman, author of East of Hounslow and Homegrown Hero

“Lyrical, funny and at times haunting, Still Lives is an urgent novel that deserves to be read widely. It had me reading well into the night. Beautiful!”

– Awais Khan, author of No Honour and In the Company of Strangers

“Emotions played a big role whilst reading this book… the ending absolutely broke me… Still Lives is definitely a story that leaves you with a haunting feeling!”

– Lauren, Blogger. Kicking off the blog tour for Still Lives

“I’ve just found a new favourite author Reshma Ruia – this is such a well-written and gripping tale about a man who is disappointed in life and embarks on an affair. I absolutely loved it.”

– Bookaholic Bex

“Read through first 100 pages of Reshma Ruia’s book and am absolutely loving it. Have not come across such beautifully observed British Asian fiction in a very long time. Make this one a best seller.”

– Selma Carvalho, author of Sisterhood of Swans

The book can be pre-ordered now from Amazon and all bookshops:
Renard Press