Of Marriageable Age 2nd Edition, Kindle Edition
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- Length: 544 pages
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Top customer reviews
Maas moves effortlessly from one character's story to another, shifting time and place from pre-Independence India to British Guiana and swinging London of the 1960s and 70s to war-torn Indonesia in the 1940s. In the 1920s, Savitri's Brahmin family serves the Lindsay family, and as children she and the Lindsay son David play together and fall in love. However, tradition and prejudice divide them. In the 1950s, a British doctor rescues Nataraj, called Nat, from an orphanage and in a little village near Madras and raises him like a son. In the 1960s, the girl Sarojini rebels against her strict Indian father as racial and political unrest threaten their comfortable life in Georgetown, British Guiana. Sarojini discovers a dark secret about her birth that sends her to London and back to India, where she will learn the truth about her mother.
Maas weaves a compelling and complex tale as the connections between these three are revealed. World War II, the fight for independence in India and racial conflict in Guiana, and swiftly changing social customs propel the characters forward. Lyrical descriptions make the locations come alive. There's also a lovely touch of magical realism in the healing powers that Savitri and Nat possess .
I enjoyed the book thoroughly. My one quibble would be that the plot sometimes moves so fast that it's difficult to truly get to know the characters. Their inner reactions to important and sometimes tragic events are not fully developed as the action races forward.
All in all, though it is a compulsively readable book that tells a lot about India and its far-flung children in the 20th century. Fascinating and vivid.
Towards the end, I was sure I knew what was going to happen, but it turned out completely unexpectedly. This book was hard for me to put down and by the end I felt like I had been through an emotional roller coaster. Ms. Maas has a way of making you empathize with her characters to the point where you are emotionally invested in their story.
What's also great is that she provides realistic historical contexts and educates while entertaining. I'm Guyanese and I didn't know about a lot of the events that Ms. Maas mentions in the novel and I had to go back and do my own research to find out. I rarely take the time to write reviews for novels, but I had to come on Amazon to recommend this novel.
I loved this book and it is beautifully written, but I do think it could have been pared down about 200 pages as I did sort of fly though a few parts of it. I give it a 4.5
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