Nicole Bunge's Reviews > The Dowry Bride

The Dowry Bride by Shobhan Bantwal
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Apr 27, 09

Read in April, 2009

This is ok. I wish I could give it 2 1/2 stars, because the writing level is just... atrociously grade-school. (if she's going to be quoted as an 'award winning writer' anyway.)She needs a better editor, there is a lot of rambling (and I'm not talking about the interesting bits about culture and day-to-day life in India, I liked that. But how many times do we need to hear about the male protagonist changing into khaki shorts and a blue logo t-shirt and how he looked masculine in them? *sigh*)

The plot is nice, but again, a bit... elementary. I guessed 90% of it. And there's still this nagging feeling that "how could a girl actually be an "A" student - all the way through college no less - and still be so... utterly uneducated, naive and emotionally immature?" I'm sorry, but if you're poor, you at least learn street smarts and shortcuts in life, and you're way more jaded by the time you're 20. Poor girls do not end up acting like fawning Disney Princesses with a song in their heart and a 'can do' attitude to match their flawless looks.

If you really want some intelligent, articulate writing about India, read Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni's "Arranged Marriage" (it's short stories.)

I don't want to completely bash this book, it has some lovely cultural knowledge and if you've never been introduced to Indian culture, it's a fairly unassuming beginners guide- the details flow with the prose. I have to applaud the author taking on the caste system and the whole idea of bride burnings - it's kind of a no-no topic (even a Midwestern WASP girl like me knows that.)
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