BookDragon Books for the Multi-Culti Reader

The Bollywood Bride by Sonali Dev [in Library Journal]

Bollywood Bride by Sonali Dev on BookDragon via BooklistRia 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

Readers: Adult

Published: 2015

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