Arranged Marriage – Chitra Divakarunni Banerjee

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

I picked up this book with a lot of expectations as the earlier books by the same author showed a lot of promise – Sister of my heart, Vine of Desire, etc. I liked the way she portrayed the Bengali customs, traditions etc and how she used the language so effortlessly and flawlessly.

This book however – a collection of short stories – failed to live up to those expectations. Much to my disappointment the stories lacked something that I could not put my finger on. I felt they were incomplete, or rather on the whole deficient in something. Either there’s something that I could not quite figure out about the stories or maybe there’s nothing; and they are just that – STORIES. Of the whole lot, she has used characters in some that are common to the other books and the collection altogether left me a little disheartened when I finished it. I seriously could not understand the endings of some stories, if they could be called that!!!

I preferred Jhumpa Lahiri’s - Unaccustomed Earth to this one… whether it’s the content or whether it’s the language I think I enjoyed reading that more than this! Of course, to compare both when they have been written at different times is not fair… but because they belong to the same genre as short stories or rather collection of tales.. I have gone ahead and done just that!

Not a very enjoyable read! At least to me!


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