Advanced Review: Karma Gone Bad

Posted 24 September, 2013 by April @ The Steadfast Reader in Reviews

Advanced Review: Karma Gone BadKarma Gone Bad by Jenny Feldon
Published by Sourcebooks, Inc. on November 5th 2013
Genres: Biography & Autobiography, Cultural Heritage, Personal Memoirs, Women
Pages: 336

I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange honest review consideration. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Made in America. Outsourced to India. At Home with Herself? A charming yet honest memoir of one Upper West side housewife who finds herself saying good-bye to Starbucks and all her notions of "home" when she and her husband are outsourced to Hyderabad. Jenny Feldon imagined life in India as a glitzy yoga whirlwind. Instead she found buffalo-related traffic jams. Jenny struggled to fight the depression, bitterness, and anger as her sense of self and her marriage began to unravel. And it was all India's fault—wasn't it? Equally frustrating, revealing, and amusing, this is the true story of an accidental housewife trapped in the third world.

Really, it only took me two days to finish this Karma Gone Bad? It felt like forever. 

Okay, so about this. I hated the narrator for the first 75% of the book, she came across as spoiled, xenophobic, and incredibly overprivileged. It was a string of complaints and insecurities. (Oh no! I can’t get a latte! Why are all these brown people staring at me?! Why can’t they wait in line properly like Americans?! My dog!) She manages to redeem herself the last quarter of the book by at least making the effort to enjoy and embrace Indian culture. 

I’ve lived abroad and yeah, things are done differently, it can be scary and uncomfortable. But the narrator seems to dismiss other cultures as ‘less than’ because they’re not American (or even western). Overall this book annoyed me more than it enlightened me.

I’ve never read her blog and I probably won’t. The writing itself is at the level you would expect to find in a memoir, meaning: not bad. If you want a ‘traveling the globe-finding myself memoir’, read Eat, Pray, Love instead. 


April @ The Steadfast Reader


  • Did she still have that dismissive attitude at the end, or was she converted? The subtitle makes it sound like maybe she came around? But if the ugly American attitude remained, I think I’d have no interest in it.

  • She did seem to come around at the end… (which is the only reason it got 3 stars instead of 2 on Goodreads) but the first 3/4 was just so painful.