Arranged Marriage, by Chitra Divakaruni

About the author:
Chitra Divakaruni is well known for her highly acclaimed novel, “The Mistress of Spices” and her award-winning collection of short-stories, “Arranged Marriage”. She was born in India, but now stays in California. She is a teacher of creative writing and a published poet as well.

Cover and blurb:
Stories of Indian women who move to USA after their marriage with new dreams and then try to balance their lives between new notions and old sunken beliefs from home… the cover alone shows a bride in wedding day finery.

My thoughts on the book:
I am yet to get married, or move abroad. The adventure that lies in both are something that I won’t understand perhaps, but through the experiences of my friends and family, I do not, for one moment, believe that neither is a walk in the park. That being said, I don’t feel it is a walk on thorns either.

Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni is one of my favorite Indian authors. I’ve read quite a few of her books, and while they don’t always find a place in my favorites, they are good. To get an exception from that quality was quite disheartening. This book of short stories explores the lives of women who have an arranged marriage and settle abroad. Each story is beautifully written, the language is impeccable and very poetic. It makes you feel for the characters.

What I didn’t like about the stories was that almost all of them ended with turbulence in their marriage. While I agree arranged marriage needn’t be all roses, there are couples who settle abroad and lead a happy life. The book doesn’t show the complete picture, I feel, which is a travesty.

My rating: 2.5 / 5

Book Details:
Title: Arranged Marriage
Author: Chitra Banerjeee Divakaruni
ISBN: 9780552996693
Genre: Short Stories / Fiction
Publishers: Black Swan Publishers
Price: INR. 330

Reviewed by Leo

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