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And Laughter Fell from the Sky

3.08  ·  Rating details ·  264 ratings  ·  69 reviews
“A timely story about what matters most deeply: our quest for love and acceptance….Jyotsna Sreenivasan’s writing speaks straight to the heart.”
—Kim Barnes, author of In the Kingdom of Men

And Laughter Fell from the Sky, the enthralling first novel from Jyotsna Sreenivasan, is a stirring contemporary love story about two young Indian-Americans trying to find love and their p
Paperback, 336 pages
Published June 19th 2012 by William Morrow Paperbacks (first published May 1994)
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Apr 28, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc
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
Jun 18, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
Apr 18, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2013-reads
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
Sasha Strader
Apr 05, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: family, fiction, india
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
Sep 03, 2012 rated it did not like it
Shelves: couldn-t-finish
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.

Michelle Despres
Apr 27, 2012 rated it did not like it
Shelves: gave-up
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
Jun 19, 2012 rated it did not like it
Shelves: didn-t-finish
I wanted to like this, I really did. I didn't get too far in before I realized the author was TELLING the story through dialogue and it wasn't particularly interesting either. The characters didn't catch my interest so I didn't care to see what happened to them.
Nov 19, 2014 rated it did not like it
So much exposition per square inch. So much unrealistic dialogue. So much emphasis on traditional beauty standards in a book all about challenging tradition. So much melodrama.
Merlyn Brito
Oct 11, 2018 rated it liked it
Jackson Matthews
Feb 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Excellent. I will read House of Mirth, but do not see that it could possible be better. Nice slice of life of interesting characters.
Karen Klein
Jun 07, 2017 rated it did not like it
Going back to the library....couldn't read past the first chapter....
Mar 10, 2017 rated it it was ok
I didn't love this book. I didn't hate it either.

The writing style was easy enough to read but I didn't connect with the characters. I'm not sure why.
Jul 02, 2012 rated it it was ok
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
May 10, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
May 09, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
Mar 27, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2012, asian-indian
And Laughter Fell from the Sky: A Novel by Jyotsna Sreenivasan is the author’s first book. I thought that it was a very good first novel. It kept my interest from the first page and it was rich with details about Indian culture and had some information about Hinduism.

In the back of the book, the author says that she took inspiration from Edith Wharton’s “The House of Mirth”. She altered the female role of Lily Bart from a woman living in the Gilded Age who aspired to make a good marriage and t
Nov 23, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2012, fiction, india
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
Jun 24, 2012 rated it liked it
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
May 10, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: first-reads, romance
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
McGuffy Morris
Jul 31, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
May 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
Feb 19, 2014 rated it really liked it
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
Dina Katsnelson
Dec 29, 2017 rated it it was ok
I'm only halfway through but I don't know if I can finish this book. The main characters are both insufferable, like caricatures. Bah.

Update: I did end up finishing the book. I wasn't crazy about it. It was a romance novel (or at least a romantic novel), but I was never rooting for the male and female characters to fall in love. They seemed to be polar opposites, but not in a good "opposites attract" kind of way. They had no shared interests or values, or anything that could convince me that the
Laura Ellen
Apr 14, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
Keely Richmond
Apr 30, 2012 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Saira Priest
Mar 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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
Mar 18, 2013 rated it really liked it
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
Herta Feely
Feb 09, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed
The moment I began reading, I was drawn in, not only by the story but by the writing. I love novels that introduce me to other cultures. And I am especially intrigued by India...on my top 5 list of places to visit. The author does a fine job of casting the two main characters ... I love the guy (Abhay) and want to shake the girl (Rasika). I'm not sure what will happen and that keeps me reading and hoping. This book, while not super serious or super deep, does give us wonderful insight into the t ...more
Mar 11, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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'.
Nov 24, 2012 rated it liked it
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.
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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. She currently lives and works in Columbus, Ohio.