Final recommendation: a good read
To be frank, the only reason I had bought this book was that it looked light hearted enough to be read in Hot afternoon and to be forgotten later on. And was I in for a surprise. Unlike other Indian Authors, Monica Pradhan doesn't try to find her roots. her characters are well settled and confident in their Indian-American Identities. of course, they have issues (Or how else we will have this book) and Generation Gaps but somehow, they are not over-cooked here.
The main character Kiran is a successful physican, born to Indian immigrants in USA. She married a Rock Musician against her parents wishes and divorced him after finding him in bed with another woman. Her parents didn't approve of this marriage. However, after being treated for breast cancer, Mother has learned to see things from daughter's perspective as well. Her struggle is keeping her family together esp after her husband still can't forgive their daughter. Kiran is now trying to accept her parent's ways and agreed for semi-arranged marriage which means posting her profile to matrimonials sites and meeting prospective grooms.
Other characters are Kiran's childhood friends - Preity and Rani. Both happily married to Americans. While one is haunted by a childhood love she lost due to religion, other struggles to keep her creativity going. Their mothers - Saroj and Uma form the Hindi-Bindi Club along with Kiran's mother Meenal. These 3 women are long settled in US with their husbands and have raised kids. And now they are facing their own demons. One is having an affair and other is still hurt over being boycotted from her family in India for marrying an Irish-American.
Monica has captured the constant struggle between mothers and daughters in a beautiful form. From understanding the other's point of view to giving up to gain approval or simply accepting the other the way they are, We all have felt like that at one point or another.
Book is not just about generation gaps or cultural differences, it also touches on religion, partitions and Indian Recipes. Yes, you heard it right, at the end of each chapter, there's a recipe. Mouth watering dishes and quite good instructions.
I love Monica's writing style. It's in narrative form, Chapters by these 6 characters and so beautifully intertwined. It keeps you engaged til you finish it.
Of course, I felt end was bit cliched. But what the heck, you can't have it all. And sometimes, world does deserve Happy Endings.
Disclaimer: This review has already been posted on my personal blog. Also, opinions expressed here are mine, no offense meant to anyone :)