Something different for today’s review – a memoir! Deranged Marriage by Sushi Das is an easy read, and a thought-provoking take on the author’s experience of growing up in Britain as the child of Indian migrants. It’s also more than a little bit chuckleworthy, particularly in the way it addresses some of the more…colourful…oddities of British, Indian and Australian culture.
A continuing theme of the book is the author’s aversion to accepting an arranged marriage, and how this struggle affected her own choices and the lives of those closest to her. One of the best (and sneakiest) parts of the book for me was the way Das managed to drop in facts and statistics and questions about arranged marriage around the world as compared to other types of marriage, without dragging the whole piece down into the mire of complicated and important ethical, cultural and legal issues. Instead, the important questions are asked in the context of the author’s lived experience, allowing the thought to be lodged in the reader’s mind for consideration at a later stage, and the narrative flow to continue largely uninterrupted.
Anyway, this is supposed to be a review for the time-poor, so, READ IT IF:
* you are or have ever been a migrant, or you know someone who has – particularly one moving between cultures with glaring differences
* you have ever wondered why England has classes for its postal system (presumably the first class post gets to eat using the good silver)
* you are, have ever been, or are ever planning to be, a teenager with ideas
*you have even a passing interest in feminism, or cultural issues that involve or affect women
* you have ever wished you could change your name to something (preferably with new and interesting spelling combinations) to reflect your real, though hidden, identity
It’s a big dinky-di, you-beauty-mate two thumbs up from Brucey on this one.
Until next time,