Saturday, May 06, 2006

Of Marriageable Age by Sharon Maas

Of Marriageable Age by Sharon Maas... is a rich, colorful explosion of Indian culture moving across three separate timelines that begin in different places tied to the three primary characters.

Three main characters dominate the plot - Nataraj, brought up in a village in Tamil Nadu, Savitri, the daughter of a cook on a estate owned by an English couple, and Sarojini, brought up in Georgetown, British Guiana. Nataraj and Sarojini who are of the same generation eventually meet in England. Each chapter is devoted to one of these three characters and the characters take it in turn to tell their stories. However, the confusing part of the plot is that these stories are not told in the same timeframe at all, but this is not made clear to the reader in the initial stages of the novel.

With a willing suspension of cynicism on the part of the reader, this novel could be quite fun, but it does require some tolerance from the reader. It is a carefully crafted piece of writing, praise-worthy for its ability to entertain and absorb the reader, but reads more like a fairy-tale for adults than any realistic portrayal of the life of diasporic Indians.

I remember reading fitting review for this book.. "If you like sweet, sappy love stories, or rich Indian culture and tradition, or even if you just liked the movie "Monsoon Wedding", this book is highly recommended for you."

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