Roxana's Reviews > A Married Woman

A Married Woman by Manju Kapur
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's review
May 16, 2009

really liked it

A few months ago I had the privilege to meet this wonderful young girl who chose to be a missionary and help poor children in India. She told me about her trips and experiences there and I realized that to my shame I knew nothing about the reality of this large country. As a result of our meeting I became interested in knowing more and I found this book in my parents’ house in Romania about India and its spectacular economic boom. I am not sure it is the best book ever written about India but I read it with enthusiasm as I had no previous knowledge and it offered me enough information to delineate my own ideas.

In my own library at home in Spain there laid a novel written by an Indian woman writer that I had bought in Madrid one day, I had tried to read and then had left untouched but not forgotten on a shelf, its misteries still to be discovered. I know now that everything happens for a reason, as I am glad I did not read that book then, not before I read the other one that gave me a glimpse on India, its customs, religions, government, economics, poverty etc. I would not have been able to read Manju Kapur’s novel and understand it, otherwise. As it happens, I am part of a reading website where I saw that this book did not have very good reviews. I wondered why, but now as it is finished I think the explanation is that those people did not bother to go farther and wonder about Indian reality. For me, this book, A Married Woman, is far from being „unreadable”. In fact, I read it rather quickly and impatiently as it seemed to me to give shape and provide an example of what India is.

It is the story of a woman who feels trapped in a matrimony with a rather traditional husband who does not understand her. She is in constant battle between what traditional society and customs require from her status as „wife” and her own interests, passions and desires. She becomes an activist and she even falls in love and has an affair with another woman. The issues revealed by Manju Kapur make her very bold in my eyes. She talks about religious fanaticism, feminism, activism, bisexualism, governmental corruption, poverty, assassination, struggle for Indian unity. I strongly recommend this book especially to my female friends as I am sure that men may not completely understand some of the issues emphasized in this book and may not have the patience to read it to its end. I truthfully hope I am wrong in saying this. The book is available in English and Spanish for those of you who are interested.
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