Goodreads blurb: Very little has gone right in Nithya’s young life. So, when a proposal from a young, handsome NRI comes along, her mother jumps at the opportunity and packs her daughter off to the US with her perfect groom.
Nithya seems to have settled in with Ashok, ostensibly happy, if as yet childless, in her new life. When an old flame comes back into her life, however, the cracks in her perfect marriage begin to show…
To be very honest I actually picked up this book only because the author was giving it away literally for free on Facebook on one particular day in February and one of my good friends happened to be her friend on Facebook and he alerted me to the giveaway. And as it turned out, the author Sumeetha Manikandan had read a couple of book reviews on my blog and was more than happy to give me the book for free. And the fact that it was an e-book, my preferred format nowadays, was an unexpected bonus.
It was only later when I read the author bio that I realized that Sumeetha has also written screenplays for television serials and writing was not just her hobby but practically her profession and for sure that degree of professionalism shows in this particular novella. I call it a novella as the book itself is only just a tad over 100+ pages in the PDF format and is quite a breezy read at best.
The book begins with Nithya’s daily routine in California where the strains on her marriage with Ashok are clearly visible and it is made very obvious that they are pretending to make the marriage work only for the sake of Ashok’s mother, whose only worry in life is that Nithya has not managed to provide her with a grandson to carry on Ashok’s legacy forward.
From the very beginning, it is made amply clear that there are some strong undercurrents and underlying issues due to which the marriage is not working, and I don’t know about the rest of the readers but for some funny reason I was able to kind of gauge the exact reasons for the same. Although it must be said that the author has successfully managed to cover up her tracks in this regard and the big ‘reveal’ somewhere near the end of the book works wonderfully well.
While I personally am not a big fan of the romantic novel genre, I have to say that this book spoke to me at various levels. Whether it was because it was set in a familiar Tamil Brahmin milieu with more than just a smattering of words and terms used by the community, or because it dealt with normal middle class characters whose daily lives mirrored mine to a large extent, or because it dealt with characters that I would normally encounter in my daily life, the fact remains that I could almost completely relate to this book.
As is the norm with the Tamil Brahmin community, almost the entire extended family involving uncles, aunts, in laws, friends, make an appearance and their presence felt in the proceedings which alternate between California, Chennai and Mumbai. What is wrong with Nithya’s marriage and how it all comes to a boil in Chennai around the time of another family wedding is what makes up the crux of the plot.
In a nutshell, and being completely honest, I wouldn’t have minded spending more money on the book, and would surely have enjoyed it as much even then. A light breezy read, more so if you are a fan of the romantic novel genre.
|Name||The perfect groom|