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One and a Half Wife

3.48  ·  Rating details ·  341 ratings  ·  46 reviews
Unlike most Indian immigrants, Amara Malhotra is not destined to achieve the American Dream. Much to the anxiety of her parents – the spirited Biji and the doting Baba – Amara leads an unremarkable life. That is, until she marries Harvard-educated millionaire, Prashant Roy. However, this fairy-tale isn’t meant to last, and even as Amara’s marriage collapses, she finds hers ...more
Paperback, 304 pages
Published April 15th 2012 by Westland Limited
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3.48  · 
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 ·  341 ratings  ·  46 reviews

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Jul 26, 2012 rated it really liked it
If you love stories dealing with human relationships and the emotions attached to them, then Meghna Pant’s One and A Half Wife is a must read. It is the story of a normal girl-next-door and how the different phases of her life, the heartbreaks and tribulations ultimately help her become a strong-willed person.
The story covers nearly two decades and along with it the different social issues and situations are also dealt with – people’s obsession of getting a Green Card, several misconceptions reg
Aug 19, 2012 rated it liked it
By Meghna Pant. Grade: B
The first impression of this book is contrasting. While the title is provoking and makes one curious, and the cover excellent, the blurb is drab and unexciting. But it was a review copy and thus, I forged ahead.
Unlike most Indian immigrants, Amara Malhotra is not destined to achieve the American Dream. Much to the anxiety of her parents – the spirited Biji and the doting Baba – Amara leads an unremarkable life. That is, until she marries Harvard-educated millionaire, Pras
Jul 22, 2012 rated it it was amazing
One and a Half Wife is a brilliant book by an Indian author in a long time. The maturity with which Meghna Pant treats the subject of immigration, divorce and reverse-immigration among the 'one and a half generation' Indian-Americans is commendable. The characters are tightly chalked out and leave a long lasting impression on the reader, even after the book is done. It is easy to connect with the characters and you feel like you are actually a part of the life of the people in the book.
This is o
Shruti Buddhavarapu
Jun 25, 2012 rated it liked it
I am going to pretend (just like I do with Series 6 of Doctor Who) that the last 70 pages of this book don't exist.

The first two hundred pages, I think The Namesake did it waaaay waay better. Also, beware the Curse of the Shitty Indian Similes.

2.5 stars.
Rishi Prakash
Apr 16, 2014 rated it liked it
I read about the author only when her last book came in 2013 and thought/planned to read it after reading about her past books. It was only when I was all set to buy it that I came across this book! The title of the book caught my attention and I thought better to start with her first novel and then move forward

I must start with giving her yet another e-clap for bringing the much talked about immigrant experience which is an essential story for our time in a beautiful book. She is brilliant in
Sudha Subramanian
Jul 30, 2012 rated it really liked it
One and a Half Wife is a debut novel by journalist Meghna Pant. While reading the novel, I deeply appreciated the author's capability to bring out in words, the emotions of an Indian lady named Amara Malhotra and the pain that she goes through while trying to settle down in an American country where she almost finds herself unfit. The ever-widening gap between Amara and her NRI cousins, an unsuitable personality in herself to get aquainted with the US culture etc., make her totally desperate. Th ...more
Veena Regit
Jul 01, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arc
You know most days I really can’t afford to read and some days it seems that I did rather lie down and close my eyes and rest when I have a few minutes to myself. So I really did not know why I requested this book from Blogadda,com. There is no uniqueness in the blurb and it sounds really boring. The blurb really talks about immigration, trying to blend in etc etc. I would rather read Jhumpa Lahiri, because she is one who deals with these topics with such finesses that any other Indian author wo ...more
Astha Vyas
Sep 11, 2016 rated it it was ok
A story so profound of a young Indian girl cursed to be the ‘One and a half wife’ whose life is sheltered by the institution of marriage and expected to ripen within that calyx; has been told with such audacity. Her journey from being a ‘Baby Buddha’ to an Indian immigrant then a de-horsey and finally a strong headed woman with a sense of self reliance keeps the readers busy.

Amara Malhotra, a girl instilled with thoughts and hopes of marriage and it being the prime and only goal in her life, her
Readers Cosmos
Jan 26, 2013 rated it really liked it
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A story of an Indian girl, who tries to live by the norms of the society. However life and luck do not favor her and she faces hardships like the ones one hears and never imagines would happen to one when taken away from her motherland, in marriage etc. It’s the story of the realization and transformations that she goes through to emerge as survivor.

Story is well told, language is good and flow is beautiful. No un-necessary de
Jul 28, 2012 rated it really liked it
One and Half Wife is a fabulous first attempt by Meghna Pant. The story, its characters and the descriptions are so real that one can easily identify with them. The author's ability to weave emotions into the story is commendable. One seems to develop an instant bond with the protagonists and is actually bothered about what happens to them, feeling happy by their joys and saddened by their suffering.Notwithstanding some trivial shortcomings, One and a half Wife remains a compelling read. Among t ...more
Piya Jeswani
Aug 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing
The best novel to come out by an Indian author this year! I loved it from the first page. I simply could not put it down. I was laughing with Amara, crying for her, feeling her pain and her joy. And Biji is so entertaining, while Baba so strong. And Lalit - what can I say! Hard to believe that this is just the first novel by Miss Pant. Look forward to all her future works. Phenomenal novel guys!
Jun 29, 2012 rated it it was amazing
What an amazing read! With this beautifully-written book Pant has proved herself to be a writer of terrific grace and power. At the heart of the novel lies a daring sensibility that catapults the reader into familiar yet unknown territory. The characters are sharp, the pace ferocious and the narrative relevant. If you must read one book this year, let it be"One & A Half Wife"!
May 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing
One of the best books to come out this year. A must-read. Lyrical prose, etched out characters and a plot that will have you hooked, I really enjoyed this debut novel. The reviews have been fantastic and I was amazed at the realism and practicality with which the protagonist is allowed to surf through her problems. A winner!
Vasundhara Raghavan
Oct 09, 2012 rated it really liked it
It was a wonderful experience seeing changing times of Shimla and New York over a period of 16 years. Life itself takes many turns, as it cascades through overcoming one's inhibition,s accepting cultural changes, treading with caution and finally deciding to manage life on one's terms.

The story is amazing and Meghna's writing style was engaging. Loved it.
Shraddha Chauhan
Oct 06, 2013 rated it really liked it
a brilliant book coming from an Indian author. I was very reluctant to pick up this book but still took a chance to order it online. The story is interesting and worth your reading time. Very good work by Meghna pant.
Jan 08, 2014 rated it really liked it
Oh God so mind wrenching...
Apr 24, 2013 rated it really liked it
“One and a Half Wife” by Meghna Pant is the story of Amara Malhotra, a fourteen year old girl who lives in Shimla with her conservative parents, Biji and Baba. Amara is intelligent, independent and obedient and does not argue with her parents. She is very close to Baba, who is very understanding and supports his wife for Amara’s sake. This book can be divided into three parts: pre America; America and post America.

Biji dreams of going to America and settling down so that Amara could marry a rich
Ritika Sapra
Nov 17, 2015 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Kapila Sethi
Beautifully written and explained about how an average Indian family and it's daughter survive in this over practical and imbalanced cultural society where people want to make themselves modern but do not want to leave the conservative roots which causes a different kind of struggle in every person who belongs to such society.

The situation of a divorcee, specially when it's a woman, is extremely unfair in not just inside the country but also abroad where these so called NRIs have established tho
Anuradha Gupta
Dec 12, 2018 rated it liked it
The Big Indian American Dream. Did you ever harbor it, or still do? Do you know someone who does or has achieved it?
During the last decades of the last Millenium, a large number of Indians became immigrants, America being the most coveted country to immigrate to. With immigration, came struggles to adjust to the new country and build a life from scratch. One and a Half Wife by Meghna Pant is a riveting tale of the young Amara, who immigrates to America with her parents during the early 90s. The
Antonio D'Cruz
Jun 04, 2016 rated it liked it
The story of One and a Half Wife deals with an immigrant family in USA and their American dream. The author proved her to be brilliant story teller till the story develops in US. She described the love, aspirations, dreams, family, relationship and intricacies of indian and American indian traditions with nuances in a beautiful writing skill. But alas, she lost her grip on the story in second half or towards the end. The end of the story seemed to be overstetched and so much predictable drama th ...more
Nishant Jha
Oct 30, 2013 rated it really liked it
A simple yet a very poignant story very well told by Meghna Pant...this is about a woman - Amara who goes through lots of lows in her life some due to her parents and some due to her lack of confidence on herself but never bogs down and makes a comeback just like a true winner! one of the most decent coming-of-age novels I have read...the story is dark-stark but but never goes overboard and kept me captivated throughout! and then Shimla! just the name of this lovely city brings back so many memo ...more
Aug 26, 2016 rated it liked it
As much as I told myself that I won't like this book, I am left with a smile on my face upon finishing it.

While One and a Half Wife may seem like speaking about any other story in India, it has been put out in a different way that keeps you entertained.

It took a bit of an effort for me to continue it after a few pages but I'm glad I picked it up from my bookshelf after what seems like ages.
Tapan Chandra
Sep 10, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: romantic, india, cultural
I read this in a single go. It begins as a quintessential girl from a small town story, from a beautiful and rustic shimla in this case, and navigates the life of the protagonist as she moves along with her family to the united states as a 1.5 generation immigrant, only to have their american dream squashed. It is warm and cheerful as well as dark and tragic in equal measure.

This book won't change your life, but it sure will evoke a lot of memories, especially for the early millennials.
Apr 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing
One and a half wife is a great read for all women who migrated to a foreign land. The book focuses on one woman's journey through various relationships in diverse cultural settings.The myriad of emotions that the author was able to augment by the beautiful juxtaposition of words is poignant. The book has a universal appeal and I would recommend it to all women!!!
Jan 11, 2013 rated it really liked it
The book treats the emotional upturns of the protagonist very accurately, while painting other characters with believable warmth and quirkiness. This reader could instantly relate to the characters from the parental generation portrayed in the book. Also worth mentioning.... nice contrast between life in Shimla's tranquil surroundings and New York's busy cityscape.
Overall a satisfying read.
Nethra A.
Apr 12, 2013 rated it liked it
It is just a not-so-out-of-the-box story narrated excellently. I read the first 300 pages in a go but after that it got little too predictable and boring (not that first 300 pages weren't predictable, but the narration kept me interested).
Jun 01, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: solihull-library
picked it up as it was based in Simla and USA , both places I have lived. It could not recreate the magic of Simla and had many inaccuracies (ie you cannot drive upto baljee's) not could it capture the energy of New York.
Naseek Oberoi
Oct 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I read this book after reading Meghna Pant's second book 'Happy birthday' and I loved it. The emotional connect and language are brilliant.

Meghna Pant is one of the few Indian authors who is worth reading.
Sep 24, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Not very interesting

The book is very predictive throughout. Very relatable to any Bollywood movie from the 90s.
I personally did not enjoy reading it.
Akshatha Chakkodubail Rao
Jul 23, 2013 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed reading the book! I managed to complete three fourth of the book at one go! Well narrated, fast paced and not a regular story either.
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Meghna Pant is a multiple award-winning author, journalist and speaker. Her books – Happy Birthday! (2013, Random House), One & A Half Wife (2012, Westland), Feminist Rani (2018, Penguin), The Trouble With Women (2016, Juggernaut) and How To Get Published In India(2019, Bloomsbury) – have been published to commercial and critical acclaim. Pant has been named one of India's best writers by vari ...more
“She gave her a long embrace, like pie baking in the warmth of an oven.” 2 likes
“In India there’s no modernism without barbarism. Strip away the young man’s face and you’ll find an old man’s mind.” 1 likes
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