Saturday, March 15, 2014

Review: A Newlywed's Adventures in Married Land by Shweta Ganesh Kumar

Title: A Newlywed's Adventures in Married Land
Author: Shweta Ganesh Kumar
Publishers: Indireads
Date of Publication: June 12th, 2013
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Format: Ebook (pdf)
Length: 102 pages
My Source: Ebook (pdf)

“Dependent!!?” Mythili and Siddharth realize that being newlywed in a foreign country is very different from being passionately in love, long-distance. She has just moved to the Philippines to be with the love of her life and new husband, Siddharth. After being a hard-as-nails reporter who covered crime stories of the goriest kind, Mythili is now just a ‘dependent’. On top of that, unemployment, encounters with expat-wives and culture shock leave her feeling like she has fallen down a rabbit hole. Will their love survive, or will she become just another unhappily married expatriate wife? Will this real life Alice ever embrace her Wonderland?

This was an ARC that I thought would be fun reading. My prediction wasn’t quite correct but the book wasn’t a disappointment either. It was a fast-paced, light read and a mixture of lots of emotions involving little bit of fun as well. One of the prime reasons for my choosing this book was the similarities that the author have drawn with “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland”- I was curious about how she had connected the two completely different phenomenon, and while reading the book, I found the metaphor was woven wittily and meaningfully.
After marrying Siddharth, Mythili finds herself landing in Manila, detached from his own world, friends and relatives. Back in India she was a passionate crime reporter but after reaching the foreign country with Siddharth she is tagged as a merely ‘dependent’ person. The ‘Desi Gang’, comprised of NRIs living out there was no help at all. The story is about how Mythili adopts herself there against all odds.
From the very beginning I liked Mythili’s character. One can easily understand her state of mind after leaving her country and being in a whole new world, surrounded by bunch of new and different people who were nothing like her. She could hardly be herself with them. After working passionately all her life, being jobless and the dependent status totally sucked! But the series of events somehow made her discover herself better and her bond with Siddharth strengthen even more. Siddharth was very supportive of her and tried his best to make her feel comfortable. The relationship the two shared was beautiful and really sweet.

To cut things short, Shweta has done a pretty good job with the book. The narration is lucid and captivating. All in all, it was an interesting and enjoyable reading experience for me. 

Shweta Ganesh Kumar is a writer and travel columnist. An alumnus of the Symbiosis Institute of Mass Communication, she worked as Communications Officer for Greenpeace India and as a correspondent with CNN-IBN, before dedicating her life to writing. 

Her third book and first novella, 'A Newlywed's Adventures in Married Land,' is now available worldwide from Toronto-based publishers Indireads. 

Her second novel ‘Between the Headlines-The travails of a TV reporter’ was released in May 2012 and is now available in bookstores and online stores. 
Her first novel ‘Coming Up On The Show… The Travails of a news trainee’ sold more than 10,000 copies within the first two months of its release in May 2011 and was also listed on multiple bestseller lists.

A mother herself, she writes on the joys and trials of being a parent in a five day a week bulletin called 'The Times Of Amma - the motherhood bulletin with badly-drawn cartoons.' 

The New Indian Express, One Philippines and Geo (Indian edition) have published many of her travel columns. RobinAge, a leading children’s newspaper features her pet and travel columns for children. ‘Kiski Kahani – The Ramayana Project’, an Open Space initiative, features her essays on the diversity of the Ramayana. 
Her non-fiction pieces have been featured in Chicken Soup for the Indian Spiritual Soul, Chicken Soup for the Indian Soul – On Friendship and also in CBW’s India’s Top 42 Weekend Getaways eBook. Women's Web has featured her feminist columns and Mahindra's Mom and Me - her columns on being a new mother. 

Her short fiction has been published in Indian Voices- an anthology, Shades of Love (An Anthology of Short Stories), Winds of Change (An Anthology), Australian Women Online, Single Solitary Thought, Pothiz, Damazine and the Asia Writes Project.

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