Matrimonio a Bombay è un romanzo scorrevole e simpatico nonostante conti ben 500 pagine, che però tutto sommato si fanno leggere per passare qualche ora di relax senza pretese. Piuttosto fuorviante sia il titolo che la copertina dell'edizione Newton Compton: da East of the Sun si passa a Matrimonio a Bombay con tanto di immagine di una donna indiana e triste sullo sfondo del Taj Mahal: in realtà la storia non riguarda, come verrebbe da pensare, un matrimonio indiano combinato, né il Taj Mahal viene mai nominato.
I wasn't too sure about this book when I first started to read it. It didn't quite grab my attention, and I wasn't sure that I'd like any of the three main characters. But I persevered. And came to really quite enjoy it. The story is set in 1928, and our heroes are off to India. One to start a new life with her fiancée whom she really doesn't know. One to serve as bridesmaid but really part of the "Fishing Fleet" off looking for a husband. And the third is looking for independence and a new life in an old home.
This last, Viva is the oldest of the three at 25, she has been employed as a chaperone for the other two, as well as to another teenager, the possibly troublesome Guy.
It is these characters that made the novel, because, although they are in many ways stereotypes, they are well-written and well-described. And as I got to know them I became more interested in what was going on in their lives. However the first quarter of the book or so it quite slow. And all of it is quite conversational, which I liked, but others may not.
It is, in essence, an historical romance, detailing how the three women deal with love and men in general. And I had a little bit of an issue with this.
Why is it that books with "independent women" always end with them realising that they aren't independent or happy without a man. Yet books about independent men can easily end without a female companion. Of course, given the time setting I guess it is understandable. There were just so many things a single woman couldn't do back then.***
The ending was a little bit too quick and settled for me, at least for some of the characters, others, well, we're left wondering how exactly their lives are going to turn out.
Overall it was a good, very readable novel, once you got into it that is....Continua
Autumn 1928. Three young women are on their way to India, each with a new life in mind. Rose, a beautiful but naive bride-to-be, is anxious about leaving her family and marrying a man she hardly knows. Victoria, her bridesmaid couldn t be happier to get away from her overbearing mother, and is determined to find herself a husband. And Viva, their inexperienced chaperone, is in search of the India of her childhood, ghosts from the past and freedom. Each of them has their own reason for leaving their homeland but the hopes and secrets they carry can do little to prepare them for what lies ahead in India. From the parties of the wealthy Bombay socialites, to the ragged orphans on Tamarind Street, EAST OF THE SUN is an utterly engaging novel that will captivate readers everywhere.