A 3.5 actually.
This is the first book I've read by Anuja Chauhan. It was the title that really attracted (the book cover was not without its influence however)me, and I began reading the book with a lot of excitment. By the time I'd finished about 70 pages I was beginning to feel a twinge of regret. While there was a great deal of humour, I thought the romance part of it read much like a Harlequinn romance. If you're wonder "is that a bad thing?" Well...no...it isn't a question of it being bad or not. More a matter of taste. And I left my Harlequinn and M&B years far, far behind me!
However, I told myself I was going to read this one right through ('cause it was my first Indian romance novel), and I'm glad I did!
The story revolves around the Thakur family that has five daughters. While the main romance has to do with the fourth daughter,Debjani, we are made privy to more than the romance as the drama unfolds. We get to know so much about the Thakurs and their extended family, and we laugh with them almost all the time. Eashwari, the youngest sister has to be my favourite of the lot. She is impulsive, quick and very very likable.
My feelings about Debjani were rather mixed. Innitially, I felt nothing for this character, but inbetween I found myself feeling quite annoyed with her...she was too self-centred. I can't say the hero took my breath away either...but half way through the book I was rather willingly invested in their romance. Debjani is a newsreader for DD (this whole story takes place in 1988) and Dylan Singh Shekhawat is an investigative reporter for Indian Post
. There are a few clashes in terms of how seriously they each take what they're doing...but it's fairly predictable.
The entire novel is written in the present tense, and I though it was really well done. However, I am wondering at how authentic the author's portrayal of the Thakurs, their lifestyle, freedom for women at the time really is. I am no expert on the '80 up North of India, so I dare not say anything more save that at times it felt that the characters spoke and behaved more like they were in 21st century rather than late 1900s.
It finally turned out that the romance was not as cheesey as I thought it was getting to be, and my oh my was there a surprise more than half way through the book! Until that point I was sure this book was going to be marked 2.5 when I was done with it. But then the unexpected happened....it took me completely by surprise...I hadn't any suspicion of it...and, I must admit, I was quite impressed.
Not bad Ms Chauhan. I wouldn't mind reading another book penned by you.