Author – Shobhan Bantwal
What makes a marriage-love or compatibility? Passion or pragmatism? Shobhan Bantwal’s compelling new novel explores the fascinating subject of arranged marriage, as a young Indian-Americanwoman navigates the gulf between desire and tradition…
To Siya Giri, arranged marriages have always seemed absurd. But while her career as an environmental lawyer has flourished, Siya is still a virgin, living with her parents in suburban New Jersey. She wants to be married. And she is finally ready to do the unthinkable…
Siya’s first bridal viewings are as awkward as she anticipated. But then she’s introduced to Roger Vadepalli. Self-possessed, intelligent, and charming, Roger is clearly interested in marriage and seems eager to clinch the deal. Attracted to him in spite of her mistrust, Siya is also drawn into a flirtation with Lou, a widowed colleague who is far from her family’s idea of an acceptable husband.
In choosing between two very different men, Siya must reconcile her burgeoning independence and her conservative background. And she must decide what matters most to her-not just in a husband, but in a family, a culture, and a life…
My thoughts –
First of all I would like to thanks Bharti from Fingerprint Publishing for sending me this book. 🙂 This is the first time I am reading a book by Shobhan Bantwal. Her other books are – The Sari Shop Widow , The Dowry Bride, The Forbidden Daughter, The Unexpected Son, The Reluctant Matchmaker ,etc.
The story is about 30 year old Siya Giri and her journey of finding her man. Siya is her parents’ only child. Though she has a successful career, she is not too happy with the way her personal life had shaped up. Giving in to her parents’ wishes she participates in bride-viewing sessions where the groom and his family come over to ‘see’ the bride. Being a part of both Indian and American culture she feels confused about finding a groom for herself in this traditional way. Which way is the best, she wonders. And this is how she meets Roger, who tugs at her heart somewhere. But then their future plans quite did not match each other and Siya decided to not think much about him. But then she was attracted to him, without any doubt. And this she realizes as time passes by. In between this confusion enters Lou, Siya’s colleague, who is attracted to Siya and she too feel a thing for him. The story is all about how Siya finally finds the right man for herself.
The central 3 characters – Siya, Roger and Lou are all different people with different personalities and the author has done a good job in portraying that. What I did not quite like about Siya was her opinion about herself and her insecurity around her weight, etc. She is basically a whiny woman. Once her father shouts at her in the book – “the universe doesn’t revolve around you. Your mom and I do have better things to occupy us”. As for Roger he seemed too perfect a man for me. Lou was a likeable character.
From the beginning of the book, I somehow knew which way the story is going to end but even then I carried on expecting something nice & pleasant on my way to the finish line since the cover of the book said that over 100000 copies have been sold worldwide. However, the story ended as predicted and I was not quite blown away with it.
Final words –
Nice, simple and uncomplicated story of a girl finding her love. It can be a good read during a flight or train journey or a Sunday afternoon relaxed read.