Excellent book that does a great job of telling 3 interesting stories while drawing conclusions about larger trends in Mumbai and India. The author has clearly done her research, and comes at this from an objective perspective. I found the description of couples using online dating sites very interesting, as there has been very little written on this subject.
Just finished the book, when I should have been working. It's absolutely wonderful and riveting. Similar to Katharine Boo's Beyond the Beautiful Forevers, but about three middle-class (upper-class?) marriages. The author is a terrific, compassionate story-teller and also deftly brings out the ways that marriage in India brings with it many challenges but also some special strengths. The stories are specific to India but also about marriage itself and its difficulties. Want to just add two things: Maya deserves a better husband and Shahzad deserves better luck. Would love a follow up book about them all (along the lines of the documentary Seven Up).
Book gave us interesting facts and insights into Indian culture and marriage, religion, family, superstition, and how they were changing and disintegrating in Mumbai. The three couples' relationships were perhaps a bit too detailed, and difficult to follow changed point of view. Some of the characters' stories were pitiable, and they didn't seem to get what they deserved. But that's life, after all. I have to say that the woman characters seemed the most mature and responsible, for the most part.
Loved the stories and the wisdom about love and marriage and life contained in them. One of my favorite passages from the book, is about a father wanting to pass on what he learned about marriage, to his children. It goes like this ...
Someday Farhan thinks he will teach them what he has learned about marriage. He will tell them that it is about small things, that when you marry you are young or unthinking or both and not aware of the many problems you will face together. Money. Time. And that you will always desire more than you have.
There are many more life lessons in this book. The author has really done her homework about India and its people, which is no easy task. This book was in the making for 10 years. A true labor of love, I believe.
Yet love and marriage are complex in most countries where traditions have been disintegrating over the past 3 decades. Rock's description of three couples feels too tedious and too in depth. Each relationship is ladden with parental prejudice which oppresses each couple. Eventually the reader loses interest in each struggle. Not sure whether it is intended as journalism or fine fiction I struggled to make it to the end.
I found this story a wonderful read. It was interesting to be in the middle of three different couples to learn of their love, struggles, religion and culture. I enjoyed being on each journey through these individual relationships. I was very fortunate to meet the author and discuss the book with her and her experiences writing it. Having dialogue with her only made me love the book more! I am suggesting this to friends and family.
This was a very enjoyable and interesting read. There are many lessons to be learned from the content. Expectations and reality don’t always mesh but there is certainly growth on the journey. The book is a gentle reflection of the human heart and our steadfast determination to connect.