20 August, 2015

#BookReview :: Diary of an Immigrant Bride by Nim Gholkar

1998 Australia. Anjali Jathar is looking forward to life as an immigrant bride following her arranged marriage to ambitious divorcee Ravi. Settling in, she explores not just a new culture but also her newfound freedom. But life is less than perfect. Ravi’s constant travel and preoccupation with work leave Anjali feeling increasingly unloved and lonely.

Enter Jake Ellis. Charmed by Anjali’s exoticism, he finds himself gradually falling in love with her. And so begins an emotionally intoxicating roller-coaster ride.

‘Unravelling Anjali’ is a cross cultural tale delving into love, lust and relationships. What happens if a woman meets her soul mate after marriage…and it’s not her husband?

A riveting read, ‘Unravelling Anjali’ is a vivid portrayal of commitment, betrayal and the struggle to find one’s identity in a foreign land.

Anjali Jathar, our protagonist, lands in Australia to start her ‘journey’ as a newlywed bride. She has various ideologies and expectations as she embarks on her new life in a completely new place. But her expectations start to crumble as soon as she lands in Australia. Ravi, who is on his second marriage, is too career oriented and has absolutely no time for his new bride. His work is his life and consumes most of his time. He also travels a lot for his work. Anjali feels left behind and ignored; and even though she soon makes some friends her life feels incomplete. Some unexpected friendships and twists take Anjali on a road that she would have never imagined treading upon… What will come of these relationships? And where will it take Anjali? 

I was intrigued by the blurb of the book. The life of an immigrant wife with a hint of adultery on the side is not something I am usually attracted to, but the allure was too much and I decided to take a chance with this book.

Anjali is a character who handles her role of the protagonist well. Her honest voice makes the reader feel and empathize with her even at the darkest moments of her life. It was pretty easy to fall in love with Anjali and support her throughout. Also the development of her character is so well done… You can see her grown and change over the pages. Ravi on the other hand came across as a bit of a downer in the book. I couldn’t really like him till the end. I guess that shows how well the author has worked on her characters – so as to make us feel so strongly about them. There are other supporting characters that bring something to the plot, especially Jake, but I will not discuss them in detail, or I might give out some spoilers.

The author has done a wonderful job with her narration of the story. I loved the detail oriented narration that helped the story take a picturesque form in my mind. The flow is smooth and while some may find the pace to be a bit lacking, it is because of the care that the author has taken in world building and setting up the backdrop for each situation. As a result, I found the book to be very engaging and entertaining. 

This makes for a very light hearted read and if you are someone who doesn’t condone adultery and have been avoiding picking this book up because of it, I suggest you give it a try anyway. 

Review Copy received from Jaico Publishing House

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