And Laughter Fell From the Sky
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And Laughter Fell From the Sky

3.07 of 5 stars 3.07  ·  rating details  ·  164 ratings  ·  53 reviews
Still living at home despite a good career and financial independence, beautiful and sophisticated Rasika has always been the dutiful daughter. With her twenty-sixth birthday fast approaching, she agrees to an arranged marriage, all while trying to hide from her family her occasional dalliances with other men.

Abhay is everything an Indian-American son shouldn't be. Having...more
ebook, 336 pages
Published June 19th 2012 by William Morrow Paperbacks (first published May 1994)
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I don't think I can put into words how much I enjoyed this book. I'm not sure if it's because of my eclectic taste or because I can relate to it, either way, And Laughter Fell from the Sky has a special place in my bookshelf.

Where do I even begin? Abhay and Rasika are two very different people. Rasika has always been the pretty, obedient, smart, classy and prized daughter that would make any parent (especially Indian) proud, whereas Abhay, despite being a genius, is a guy that opposes everythin...more
Jane Eyre has been a perpetual favorite, but 2012 seems to be the Summer of Edith Wharton. Francesca Segal has written The Innocents, a novel set in modern London and a retelling of Wharton's The Age of Innocence. Claire McMillan modernizes The House of Mirth in The Gilded Age, set in Cleveland.

Jyotsna Sreenivasan also took inspiration from The House of Mirth for her debut novel, And Laughter Fell From The Sky, about Indian immigrants trying to maintain their culture and lifestyle in modern Ohio...more
LOVE LOVE LOVE! So not what I expected. I didn't expect to like this book that much!!

I loved both of these characters. Opposites attract eh!

Rasika is a 20-something young lady with no boyfriend or husband yet. So she agrees to go along with her culture and traditions and an arranged marriage.

Abhay is the opposite! He doesn't care about traditions, the rebellious man he is!

So the two are friends, but end up becoming more. Will Rasika go against her parents and marry Abhay? Abhay is SO not what h...more
Sasha Strader
I was expecting another "My family is so wonderful, but I have other desires and they support me fully once I explain myself"

This was so much more realistic. No family is perfect and Sreenivasan doesn't try to pretend that Indian families are any better than American. They have expectations, they argue, they love, and they learn to move past things. Sometimes I wanted to slap the female lead in this book, but I can almost understand where she's coming from.

All things said, this book is very huma...more
When the author wrote this she was living in the town where I live, Moscow, Idaho. That is why I read this book in the first place. I am so glad I did. The conflict of a first generation Indian American in wanting to be the perfect daughter and obey her parents with the true leanings of her heart and hope for the future is a wonderful conflict around which to build this novel. The confusion of the young man, Abhay, in trying to decide the perfect future for himself also leads to a journey of sel...more
I wanted to like this one, I really did. It is a genre I love (the Indian-American experience), but the writing was I hung in there until the last 75 pages and then decided I didn't really care enough about any of the characters to see how it ended.

I have mixed feelings about this book. I liked reading about the dilemma that two young Indian-Americans, Rasika and Abhay, faced when dealing with their culture's traditions and pressures, but I disliked Rasika's character and was frustrated throughout my reading of this novel. Rasika is a twenty-five year-old beautiful woman, living at home in a wealthy family. She comes across as vain, spoiled and aloof. Abhay is a smart young man who doesn't know what he wants to do with his life, much to th...more
In the acknowledgments at the end of the book, Ms. Sreenivasan writes that And Laughter Fell from the Sky was inspired by The House of Mirth. While I didn't clue into that while I was reading the book, I can see what she meant now that I know. One of the reasons I love The House of Mirth is because it's about a time when society had very clear rules and expectations. And Laughter Fell from the Sky is set in present day but the parents in the Indian community in America also have clear rules and...more
I made it to page 22 and gave up. There are too many great books waiting for me.

The writing seemed amateurish: characters who make speeches, unnatural conversation, too much telling and not enough showing, and lack of subtlety. This also isn't a book where I'd be underlining beautiful language.

The bizarre asides bothered me. The narrator interrupts a serious conversation to draw our attention to a scene that has nothing at all to do with the story: "In the middle of the room, a waiter pushed thr...more
McGuffy Morris
This is a novel of two Indian families who immigrate to American. The families follow the same traditions of their heritage and culture. The story focuses on the relationship of an American-born adult child from each family.

Rasika is beautiful, smart, and the pride of her parents. Abhay is also intelligent, but rebellious to not only his parents, but society in general. He feels no responsibility or ties with his parent’s traditions.

Rasika agrees to an arranged marriage but then meets Abhay. Thi...more
I love a book where I can be entertained and learn something at the same time. I knew very little about Indian culture when I started and now I feel as if I have lived with a family for a bit as the story takes place in an Indian-American household where the daughter, Rasika, while born in India is really quite American in her thoughts and ideas. Her deepest wish is to be appreciated for her style and glamour; does it get any MORE American than that? She is reaching the age where her horoscope s...more
Jyotsna Sreenivasan's And Laughter Fell From The Sky, a modern story paying homage to Edith Wharton's The House of Mirth, was a worthwhile read -- one that started slow but gradually picked up pace until I was hanging on by fraying fingernails.

Rasika is Sreenivasan's stand-out character: a woman torn between two very different worlds. There's her traditional side, her very Indian side -- the one in which she does as her parents ask. Obsessed with the fineries of life, Rasika knows her good job a...more
Rasika has a secret life. To her family and friends she is a dutiful Indian daughter, stylish and beautiful with a great career, living at home with her parents and agreeing to an arranged marriage--which for good luck, her horoscope says needs to happen before her looming twenty-sixth birthday. The secret that would shock her family is that she sneaks away on occasion to have brief affairs with unsuitable men, something she vows she will stop once she is married and living the life her parents...more
This is Sreenivasan's first novel, and I think it's a good start. The world she created was believable, and I cared about what happened to her characters. Rasika and Abhay live completely different lives with mindsets worlds apart, but you can see why they're drawn to each other. This isn't a love story that happens in a minute; they don't see each other and fall in love immediately. It's a slow, gradual thing: predictable but beautiful in its determination.

My problems with the novel were that t...more
I really liked this book. I have an odd fascination with arranged marriages, even in fiction, so I was excited to read a book detailing a traditional arranged marriage.

Abhay and Rasika were two extremely different people, but both came from Indian-American homes with traditional values. Rasika intended to let her parents arrange her marriage and Abhay had no such thoughts. I found it so interesting that Rasika would be so looked down upon for being seen with another man. That boggled my mind, bu...more
Laura Ellen
This is a very charming, direct-and-smart novel. A love story! --very unlike what I usually read. I won't rehash the plot elements; others have done a much better job of describing the cultural issues that complicate Rasika's and Abhay's relationship, but I did want to underscore my appreciation for Sreenivasan's sense of place as the story moves from Northern Ohio to Oregon to India--she has a light touch that is utterly believable. Another stand out feature of the novel is in the dialogue, of...more
Rasika is a beautiful, dutiful Indian daughter living with her family in Ohio.
Abhay is an IndianAmerican son that is nothing desirable in the minds of his parents. he graduated from college with a general studies degree and has no interest or motivation for a future.
The parent have known each other. As adults Rasika and Abhay meet again. They become friends and fall in love. However Rasika goes to India with her parents where they arrange a marriage for her.
Life has strange changes and Rasika...more
Keely Richmond
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Saira Priest
I love reading books from a variety of cultures, and this book about an Indian couple in America trying to both uphold and challenge the tradition of an arranged marriage fit the bill. It will resonate with many people who are immigrants or children of immigrants. There are some great cultural references and it is fun to follow the two main characters from Ohio to Portland to India as they explore their destinies. Finding the balance of pleasing one's parents and following individual dreams is a...more
I loved the premise of the story: an Indian American woman struggling with her parents' traditional values and desire to find the perfect husband for her. What I didn't love: the writing. Initially, the writing was so amateuris, so trite, that I almost gave up the book. I'm glad I didn't because the story itself was really interesting. With a better editor, the writing could have been tightened up and the story could have been fleshed out a bit more. A reluctant 3 stars.
A book that was entertaining enough even if the main characters seemed too much like caricatures. The idealistic hipster living in Portland? And the ambitious career woman whose main worry is finding a husband? Really?

I found that the storyline, as well as the coupling, was increasingly implausible as the novel progressed. Nevertheless it was interesting to find a chick lit book about first-generation Indians negotiating between family expectations and modern ways.
I was really disappointed with this book. I really expected the author to explore the idea of the conflict between living in a culture that is not the mainstream, or explore family dynamics, or the coming of age amidst family expectations, or . . . .you get the idea. Instead, I found myself struggling to connect with the protagonists and really questioning the story plot. I won't spoil the ending, but it all tied up a little to neatly and quickly at the end.
Buried In Print
This review was deleted following Amazon's purchase of GoodReads.

The review can still be viewed via LibraryThing, where my profile can be found here.

I'm also in the process of building a database at Booklikes, where I can be found here.

If you read/liked/clicked through to see this review here on GR, many thanks.
Great story about a woman raised in the US and what she faces in dealing with her parents raised in another culture (in this case India but would be similar in many mixed cultural backgrounds). In Jyotsna's book she writes in her acknowledgements that she was inspired by the Edith Wharton novel 'The House of Mirth' where the heroine is living with a society she describes as a 'hothouse of traditions and conventions'.
This book was an enjoyable read and after reading the author's acknowledgments I enjoyed it even more. Sreenivasan explained how her idea for this story stemmed from her reading of Edith Wharton's The House of Mirth (which happens to be one of my favorite novels). The juxtaposition of a Lily Bart-like situation in a modern Indian-American society was fascinating. Overall a very entertaining read.
I wasn't too impressed with this book. It's a light, easy read which is why I got it. But I found the author rather naive to the life and culture of Indian-Americans, in that, it felt like she brought together a bunch of stereotypes to put this book together. I think there add better books out there and would therefore not recommend this book to anyone.
Judy Davies
I finished this book with a smile on my face! It was a light love story with an interesting cultural twist.i was happy to read that many families accept the wishes of their children to choose their own mate. We only read about the tragic endings of the ones that don't work. Such as honour killings and such. 4 stars for sure
My daughter and I read this book together. We both found it entertaining though flawed. The issues surrounding arranged marriage were interesting and poignant. The characters were well developed and believable. The ending seemed contrived and implausible. And/or not necessary in it's severity. (No spoilers.)
Miko Lee
An Indian American version of House of Mirth set in Cleveland. Focused on a dutiful daughter who is set to enter an arranged marriage prior to her 25th birthday until she reconnects with the free spirited friend of her younger brother and enters a forbidden secret affair. A predictable romantic romp.
This was a cute, vacation type read. I liked learning more about Indian-American culture throughout the book. I liked Abhay a lot and found him an interesting character. Rasika made me mad at times, but that was the point I think. This was a Goodreads Giveaway... THANKS GOODREADS!
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Jyotsna Sreenivasan, the daughter of Indian immigrants, was born and raised in Ohio. She earned an M.A. in English literature from the University of Michigan. Her short fiction has appeared in numerous literary magazines, and she has received literature grants from the Washington, D.C., Commission on the Arts and Humanities. The author of several nonfiction books published by academic presses and...more
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