Koyal Dark, Mango Sweet

Koyal Dark, Mango Sweet

by Kashmira Sheth

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Overview


Jeeta’s family is caught up in the whirlwind of arranging marriages for her two older sisters, but the drama and excitement leave Jeeta cold. Even though tradition demands the parade of suitors, the marriage negotiations and the elaborate displays, sixteen-year old Jeeta wonders what happened to the love and romance that the movies promise? She dreads her turn on the matrimonial circuit, especially since Mummy is always complaining about how Jeeta’s dark skin and smart mouth will turn off potential husbands. But when Jeeta’s smart mouth and liberal ideas land her in love with her friend’s cousin Neel, she must strike a balance between duty to her tradition-bound parents, and the strength to follow her heart.

Kashmira Sheth was born in Bhavanger, Gujart, India and immigrated to the United States at the age of 17. Sheth attended Iowa State University where she received her B.S. in Microbiology. She is married to a civil engineer and they have two daughters. Sheth is both a scientist and an author. Sheth has worked for the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection as a microbiologist. In 2012 she will teach at the Solstice Low-Residency MFA in Creative Writing Program at Pine Manor College. In her free time Sheth teaches Indian dance to children.

"Warmly descriptive of life in Mumbai (formerly Bombay), this love story has a rich sense of place. Sixteen-year-old Jeeta's mother is consumed with the problems of arranging marriages for her three daughters and is sure that Jeeta's dark skin and smart mouth will turn off prospective grooms. But the teen's new friend, Sarina, opens her eyes to other possibilities. Discovering the pleasures of learning, Jeeta does well in her last year at school and enters college hoping to study law. Then, a handsome boy whom she meets at the swimming pool turns out to be Sarina's cousin. Because her mother forbids her to socialize with boys, she uses visits to Sarina to provide cover for their developing relationship. Readers may feel let down by the inconclusive ending, expecting at least an engagement, but the family's movement toward more modern ways is realistic. The novel reads like a memoir written by someone who wants to hold on to every detail of a remembered life. The tensions of family life in a small apartment are evident and the conflict between old beliefs and customs and the modern world is clear. Like the matrimonial ad her friend quotes, Jeeta is a girl with strong east-west family values, with all the contradictions that that statement suggests. This first-person narrative is a lush and loving exploration of coming of age." -Kathleen Isaacs, Towson University, MD
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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780786754656
Publisher: Argo-Navis
Publication date: 06/04/2013
Pages: 230
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.50(d)
Age Range: 9 Years

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Koyal Dark, Mango Sweet 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
meggyweg on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book was okay, well-paced, and good if you want to learn about India. I only gave it three stars because the dialog often didn't sound authentic and I thought it was too didactic and too predictable. But I may be just being picky. Certainly the setting was very well done, with all the vibrant colors and heat of India, it made you feel like you were there. I think fans of Kashmira Sheth's other books will not be disappointed with this one.
MathildeB on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Book ReviewKoyal Dark, Mango SweetKoyal dark, mango sweet is set in present-day India. The story centers around Jeeta, a sixteen-year-old student, and her family, who live in a cramped one bedroom apartment in the city streets of Mumbai. Jeeta's family is always arranging marriages for her two older sisters, but the drama and excitement leaves Jeeta cold. Where is the love and romance that the movies promise? She is defiantly not looking forward to when it is her turn, especially since Mummy is always complaining about how difficult it will be to find Jeeta a good husband, with her dark skin and sharp tongue. As Jeeta spends more time with her new friend from school, Sarina, and her educated parents, she begins to question her tradition-bound family's expectations¿ I think Koyal dark, Mango sweet is wonderfully written and you really get to experience and understand the Indian culture in Mumbai. I think this book will be most enjoyable for teenage girls, at least 12+
VaterOlsen on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Have you ever had a friend that has changed your daily life? Jeeta's new friend Sarina inspires her to study harder at school AND helps her see a boy without an adult chaperone, something her traditional parents would not approve of. Explore this realistic fiction about a teen girl in India. Is Jeeta's life anything like yours?
karinaw on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Personal Response:This was a good read that introduced the reader to the struggles of shifting from traditional Indian views and practices to modern views. The ending was a bit abrupt but overall it was very good introduction to Indian life. I was a little annoyed that I didn't know there was a glossary of terms in the back until I was 3/4 of the way through the book.Curricular/Programming Connections:Indian culture- traditional beliefs, practices, customsIndian foodHave class or library reading group read the book then have a time to provide samples of food, dress, maybe language lesson, etc. Watch an Indian movie and then compare with Jeeta¿s life. How is her life different than what is portrayed in cinema?
lnommay on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Book talk:As you go about your daily lives, you aren't thinking about life in other parts of the world. But really? You should. I think that the more you learn about lives different from your own, the more you learn about yourself. For example, if you were to read about a mother who is busy trying to find a suitable husband for her oldest of three daughters, what thoughts would run through your head? (Pause for discussion.) And how would you feel if your own mother told you that your tongue was too sharp and your skin too dark; therefore, you should say yes to the first man that says yes to you? (Discussion)All her life, Jeeta, the youngest daughter in this family living in India, is told that it will be hard to find a suitable husband for her because her skin is too dark. And to protect her family's reputation, Jeeta is forbidden to talk with any boys. In the beginning of this book set in Mumbai (formerly Bombay, India), Jeeta just can't help arguing with her mother about everything, but especially about her mother's obsession with arranging the marriages for her sisters and, sometime in the future, Jeeta's marriage. But after making friends with Sarina, an only child of very important and successful parents, Jeeta begins to see a real reason for her persistent arguing with her mother about her future choices in life. And then there is handsome Neel, who not only makes her weak in the knees, but also makes her willing to do the forbidden and TALK WITH A BOY. I liked Jeeta and several other characters in this book and hope I can read in a future book about her going after her nontraditional dream of becoming a lawyer. After all, she has already proven how good she is at arguing!
allthesedarnbooks on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A rather disappointing YA book set in India. The heroine's journey to be unique and grow away from her family is interesting, as is the setting, but the style is somewhat lacking. Very boring throughout the middle.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I didn't find this book to be anything interesting. The vocabulary could have been more challenging, it was an easy read. There are lots of allusions, which should be fun for Indian readers and challenging for American readers. The middle section of the book dragged on for quite a bit, it was a slow-moving story. Didn't really hold my interest. It has a very open end which could have been better by describing Jeeta's future with Neel.,
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
I never read a book about india before so I was unsure about this book but I loved it. Wonderful story. Only thing I did not like about it was the ending. What happened to Jeeta?
Guest More than 1 year ago
Must read for all desis. I absolutely loved it. All I can say is read it,and find out what I am talking about!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I absolutely loved this book and highly recommend it for both teenagers and adults. Jeeta is a funny and smart heroine who must find herself and her place within her culture and family. Her struggles are not unique to India, but something every teenager must face. At the same time, I loved the setting and all the richness it added to the novel.