The Bollywood Bride by Sonali Dev [in Library Journal]
Ria Parker has avoided going home to Chicago for far too long, offering up convenient excuses about her demanding Bollywood career. With her beloved more-brother-than-cousin’s impending wedding, Ria finally heads stateside from Mumbai to face the family.
For 10 years, she’s managed to avoid first-and-only-love Vikram, thinking that she’s saved him from a miserable future looming with insanity. But when she meets him and his new girlfriend – virtually in flagrante in the family basement – running away this time proves impossible.
Sonali Dev (A Bollywood Affair) continues her bicultural Bollywood streak, albeit this time adding more steam than substance. Attempts at inclusion of weightier fare – a Chinese American adoptee who grew up in foster care, mental illness, cultural appropriation, social justice – feel clumsy and misplaced.
Verdict: Thankfully, versatile Priya Ayyar with her mellifluously fluent accents switches seamlessly from sibling banter and adoring older servants to overwrought sex scenes and dancing aunties without missing a beat. Where better editing might have erased dozens of unnecessary pages, Ayyar manages to keep the eye-rolling impatience to a minimum, ever charmingly entertaining even beyond the gorgeous-but-flat characters playing out their inevitably predictable plot.
Review: modified from “Audio,” Library Journal, March 1, 2016