Review: A Suitable Boy

Why I picked it: I saw that Ti (Book Chatter) was planning a read-a-long with another blogger, and since this book is on the list of 100 books everyone must read I thought I would attempt to read the 1,300+ page novel.   

Synopsis: Vikram Seth's novel is, at its core, a love story: Lata and her mother, Mrs. Rupa Mehra, are both trying to find — through love or through exacting maternal appraisal — a suitable boy for Lata to marry. Set in the early 1950s, in an India newly independent and struggling through a time of crisis, A Suitable Boy takes us into the richly imagined world of four large extended families and spins a compulsively readable tale of their lives and loves. A sweeping panoramic portrait of a complex, multiethnic society in flux, A Suitable Boy remains the story of ordinary people caught up in a web of love and ambition, humor and sadness, prejudice and reconciliation, the most delicate social etiquette and the most appalling violence.

Type: Fiction

Quick Take: What can you say about a book that's three times longer than it should be?  I have no issues with the story and when I finished reading it I was left thinking, wow great ending!  If it was 500-600 pages I would give this one five stars.

The four families in this novel are wealthy.  In addition to reading about the quality of life for the wealthy, we learn about social grace for an educated woman (Lata) in the 1950's.  This story is filled with social status, religion and family dynamics.   Lata wants to be an independent woman, taking control of her life, but her mother is determined to find Lata a husband soon.

Now that I have finished this book... I enjoyed the story and am satisfied, it's long but the story moves quickly and I learned so much about a socialites life in India.

Have you read this book?  Did you like it?

Rating: If this book was 500 pages I would say 4/5 stars, it's one of those books that's better when it's over (if this makes sense)

Country: India
Challenge: Middle East reading challenge
Source: Personal Copy

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