Like Heaven is a vivid and evocative portrait of an Indian family in Port of Spain, Trinidad. It tells the story of Ved Saran, a young man who is forced to leave his childhood behind when he takes on he family business, sacrificing his own personal desires to make it a success. As he prospers he is pulled further away from the ramshackle carnival culture that has sustained him and thrown instead into a world of politics and corruption which finally threaten his personal happiness and the happiness of the people around him. Full of richly drawn characters, Niala Maharaj in this debut novel manages to show the humour and pathos in life the unpredictability of its course and the complexity of human relationships. It celebrates the fun and pleasure to be found in friendship and social occasions and shows the devastation that can be wrought in a split second decision. Ultimately uplifting, Like Heaven pulsates with life, and is vibrant with the sounds, smells, colours and texture of the Caribbean
Born and raised in Trinidad and Tobago, Niala Maharaj was a leading figure in the local print media. She went on to co-produce and co-present the country's most successful weekly television series. She left Trinidad in 1987 to edit an international women's magazine based in Rome, endured a short stint with an Asian non-governmental organisation based in Hong Kong, then returned to Europe where she settled in Amsterdam. She has travelled extremely widely, working as a freelance journalist, editor and communications consultant to international organisations, universities and publishers. She has written one non-fiction book- The Game of the Rose- The Third World in the International Flower Trade and is currently working on her second novel.