Customer Reviews for

A Good Indian Wife: A Novel

Average Rating 4
( 54 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(26)

4 Star

(20)

3 Star

(3)

2 Star

(3)

1 Star

(2)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

An Interesting Peek Into Another Culture

I found the story well paced and so absorbing I read it straight through over a weekend. The characters were believable most of the time (the doctor's mistress was a bit over the top). I was able to keep up with the protagonists's way of thinking. What I enjoyed as m...
I found the story well paced and so absorbing I read it straight through over a weekend. The characters were believable most of the time (the doctor's mistress was a bit over the top). I was able to keep up with the protagonists's way of thinking. What I enjoyed as much as the plot was the look inside a culture that I would otherwise have no way of experiencing and knowing. It removed some of my biases, but may have inadvertently reinforced others. The author did an excellent job with this book. It was a pleasant surprise to discover it just by browsing in the bookstore.

posted by FloridaGirlJB on August 22, 2009

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Most Helpful Critical Review

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

Ending, what ending? Dont be fooled by the sample!

The sample leads you into thinking it will get better, but it really doesnt. The pace and descriptions are the same throughout the book. You wont get too much and will definately be disappointed with the ending. Dont waste your money. If you really want to read, i will ...
The sample leads you into thinking it will get better, but it really doesnt. The pace and descriptions are the same throughout the book. You wont get too much and will definately be disappointed with the ending. Dont waste your money. If you really want to read, i will lend/share it.
First, it was a story that kept you wanting to read more. Although, there were times i skipped parts that didnt seem too interesting, especially the times when the charcters would go back to their past.
Second, some characters and events that took place got lost. It leaves a lot of questions. What happened to her friend, rekha? Her job, her stories, her sisters marriage? Their marriage still needed some more romance and such. It seemed to formal and just hit the surface.
Last, i felt the end was abrupt and unfinshed. It seemed the author might have gotten tired and bored of the story and didnt want to go on further.
I thought since it was given four stars that it would be a great read. I have read so much better, the sultans harem, the twentieth wife, the red tent, which have so much more deep insights and descriptions.
If you want to get a glimpse of some of the culture and traditions of India and the struggles some foriegners face when living in another country, then this book might give you just that.
However, i felt this book left more to desire. It lacked in a few places.Its not worth the one nighter, and it could easily have been a short story than a novel.

posted by 10962064 on February 6, 2012

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 6, 2012

    Ending, what ending? Dont be fooled by the sample!

    The sample leads you into thinking it will get better, but it really doesnt. The pace and descriptions are the same throughout the book. You wont get too much and will definately be disappointed with the ending. Dont waste your money. If you really want to read, i will lend/share it.
    First, it was a story that kept you wanting to read more. Although, there were times i skipped parts that didnt seem too interesting, especially the times when the charcters would go back to their past.
    Second, some characters and events that took place got lost. It leaves a lot of questions. What happened to her friend, rekha? Her job, her stories, her sisters marriage? Their marriage still needed some more romance and such. It seemed to formal and just hit the surface.
    Last, i felt the end was abrupt and unfinshed. It seemed the author might have gotten tired and bored of the story and didnt want to go on further.
    I thought since it was given four stars that it would be a great read. I have read so much better, the sultans harem, the twentieth wife, the red tent, which have so much more deep insights and descriptions.
    If you want to get a glimpse of some of the culture and traditions of India and the struggles some foriegners face when living in another country, then this book might give you just that.
    However, i felt this book left more to desire. It lacked in a few places.Its not worth the one nighter, and it could easily have been a short story than a novel.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 9, 2008

    A reviewer

    The book started as a good read, I was impressed with the author's accurate observation of the intricacies of Brahmin culture. Neel's family in India is very lovable and palpable. The characters of Tattappa and Aunty Vimala remind one of one's own. Neel, with all of his flaws, has also been well portrayed and is very believable. However, the character of Leila is far from realistic. After the arrival of Leila in California, the novel starts going downhill. Leila, who grew up in a small town in India, has been portrayed as an Indian version of Superwoman after her entry into the United States and Neel is transformed overnight from an assertive, almost arrogant and independent human being into one who is totally dependent on his wife, which affects the entire credibility of the story line. What takes the cake is, when the new and overly dependent Neel calls his wife of a few months, from India, and asks her to start looking for houses in the California suburbs!!!! It is through subtle instances like this, that the author conjures up the image of Leila as the Superwoman. While the author is persistent in her efforts to continue with this image, it would have been nice to have Leila take some actual control of her life. There is a lot of talk in the novel about her writing some short stories, but every thing is dealt with so sketchily, that areas of the novel seem more like the author's first draft rather than the actual novel itself. Additionally, Leila's family seems to have disappeared from the picture altogether, but for the end, when communication with her sister is suddenly re-established. The family is just not bothered about her existence, once she is married, which strikes a very peculiar note and this is not the case in traditional, close-knit Indian families which are generally very protective of their daughters even after marriage. After a while, it becomes obvious that the author is in a hurry to wrap things up and in Bollywood style, all of a sudden, the black clouds have cleared, there is happiness in Leila's life, she has already talked to a publisher about her short stories, she is pregnant and Neel leaves his philandering ways to be a good Indian husband and every one is happy, but for Caroline. Caroline ultimately is the villain of the piece, Neel has 'high' standards about marriage now that his wife is pregnant and Caroline still cannot give him up. The character of Rekha in the novel also seems unnecessary, as she does not serve any particular purpose. The title could have been much better. It seems to suggest that much suffering and passivity is required to be a good Indian wife and that such behavior would guarantee Bollywood story happiness. Altogether, the author picked a topic that she could have dealt with in a better way. She had a wonderful opportunity to deal with the aspect of emotional abuse, which so often happens, in Indian marriages, but the novel loses its focus when she chose the safe route instead of dealing with the topic, head on. I hope to see more boldness and assertiveness in her future novels.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 7, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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