Arminzerella's Reviews > Born Confused

Born Confused by Tanuja Desai Hidier
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** spoiler alert ** Dimple is a second generation East Indian American. She's one of two Indian people in her high school, and as such, is somewhat out of touch with her identity as Indian. In fact, that hasn't ever interested her much at all. Her best friend, Gwyn, is stereotypical model beautiful - thin, tall, blonde, with a fire to reinvent herself every chance she gets. Dimple is happy to sideline herself and play Gwyn's photographer.

The real trouble starts when Dimple's parents decide that Dimple needs to meet (and MARRY!) a nice Indian boy. They introduce her to the son of a close friend and Dimple expects to loathe him - he's a computer nerd, and he actually LIKES the same music as her DAD. Puh-lease. She's so convinced that she's going to detest him that it comes as a big shock to her, a few weeks later, to learn that he's really pretty cool...he's really pretty cute...and he actually gets her like no one else. Too bad she already told Gwyn she hates him - because Gwyn is so ready to make him her next big priority.

You know that Dimple is going to fall for the guy in the end. You just don't know exactly when and how it's going to happen. But there's also a lot of East Indian cultural richness to be explored here as well. There was a description of the dinner that Dimple's mom prepares and it was like the South Asian translation of a meal described in Laura Ingalls Wilder's Farmer Boy (and if you're not familiar with that particular story, think lots of food, think delicious, think salivation and you've pretty much got it).

Even though the plot was somewhat predictable, it wasn't a trite story. Dimple felt like a real person with her own passions, fumbling through life and making her own mistakes, celebrating her own triumphs. She comes out of it with a better sense of who she is - and she's not just some kind of ethnic icon, she's a multifaceted person. A mixture of tradition and pioneering innovation.
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