My Small Kucing Blog

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The Mango Season by Amulya Malladi

Synopsis from

From the acclaimed author of A Breath of Fresh Air, this beautiful novel takes us to modern India during the height of the summer’s mango season. Heat, passion, and controversy explode as a woman is forced to decide between romance and tradition.

Every young Indian leaving the homeland for the United States is given the following orders by their parents: Don’t eat any cow (It’s still sacred!), don’t go out too much, save (and save, and save) your money, and most important, do not marry a foreigner. Priya Rao left India when she was twenty to study in the U.S., and she’s never been back. Now, seven years later, she’s out of excuses. She has to return and give her family the news: She’s engaged to Nick Collins, a kind, loving American man. It’s going to break their hearts.

Returning to India is an overwhelming experience for Priya. When she was growing up, summer was all about mangoes—ripe, sweet mangoes, bursting with juices that dripped down your chin, hands, and neck. But after years away, she sweats as if she’s never been through an Indian summer before. Everything looks dirtier than she remembered. And things that used to seem natural (a buffalo strolling down a newly laid asphalt road, for example) now feel totally chaotic.

But Priya’s relatives remain the same. Her mother and father insist that it’s time they arranged her marriage to a “nice Indian boy.” Her extended family talks of nothing but marriage—particularly the marriage of her uncle Anand, which still has them reeling. Not only did Anand marry a woman from another Indian state, but he also married for love. Happiness and love are not the point of her grandparents’ or her parents’ union. In her family’s rule book, duty is at the top of the list.

Just as Priya begins to feel she can’t possibly tell her family that she’s engaged to an American, a secret is revealed that leaves her stunned and off-balance. Now she is forced to choose between the love of her family and Nick, the love of her life.

As sharp and intoxicating as sugarcane juice bought fresh from a market cart, The Mango Season is a delightful trip into the heart and soul of both contemporary India and a woman on the edge of a profound life change.

My Comments:

I like this book. It's rich with Indian culture and  tradition. On one side, "Priya" was Americanise but her root kept pulling her towards obeying the family tradition. I can understand why she kept delaying or unable to tell her family about her American "fiance".

The plot had kept me in suspense throughout the book. Even at the ending, the author still managed to knock me off my feet by the secret that she revealed. The author have pretty good sense of humour too. At some parts I can't help chuckling at the jokes that she slotted in especially Priya's brother whom deliberately avoid the family gathering by giving all sorts of excuses.

To me, this book is a light-hearted sort of book. Not one of those heavy and emotional novel. There is no killing the bride for not being a virgin and stuffs like that. It portray a middle class family where they are starting to open up to modern days influence and even the family Patriarch is not excluded.

A gem find for me from the BBWS 2011.

I rate this book 4 stars out out 5.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like this is a winner, a book I'd certainly like reading, thanks for the recommendation.


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