Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Book 14: The Mango Season

The Mango Season by Amulya Malladi

I actually finished this over a week ago, but have been a little distracted. Also, it's one of those books that doesn't inspire me to say much. It was a pleasant read, and I definitely enjoyed it but beyond that . . .

Priya, the narrator, is on her first trip home to India since she left seven years ago. Despite the fact that their daughter left for America to study and work, her family is still very traditional, especially the older generation (her father is probably the most liberal but even he is used to certain customs and expects them). Her main reason for her return home is to tell her family that she is engaged to an American. She has hidden this part of her life from her family for the past three years, and wants to be open about it before she marries Nick. Her family's big fear was that Priya would follow in the foot steps of other Indians who got married to each other without involving their families but they never would have even imagined an American in the picture.

Of course, the other big fear is that at 27, Priya is an old spinster and will remain alone for the rest of her life. Her 30 year old aunt has not married yet and has been through over 50 meetings with potential spouses with no luck. Her mother and father do not want this to happen to Priya.

However, the novel mainly deals with Priya's relationships and how the past seven years have changed her and her views of her family and India. As she says, she now sees India as an outsider, and there are many things she is much less tolerant of than she was before. While overall it isn't anything too memorable, it was a good book that took a look at differences in culture and the idea of coming home. In other ways, it was very much like reading chick lit with an Indian spin but not as fluffy as some of those novels, and less about trying to find a man (at least on the narrator's part - her family is still rather interested in finding her one).

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