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The Paths of Marriage

3.90  ·  Rating details ·  60 ratings  ·  16 reviews
Lakshmi, a bright student who grew up in poverty, marries and immigrates to the United States from India to provide a better life for herself and her family. Clinging to her cultural realities, she forces her American daughter, Pooja, into an arranged marriage, creating a rift of resentment. Pooja's daughter, Deepa, is an out lesbian to everyone but her family. The woman D ...more
Paperback, 334 pages
Published October 1st 2014 by Bedazzled Ink Publishing Company
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Average rating 3.90  · 
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Mala Kumar
Apr 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
I'm the author, but I do genuinely think the book is amazing! ...more
Jul 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I honestly don't know what I can say about this wonderful book without spoiling the entire plot. I am not a crier, and I cried at the ending that's how much it touched me. No matter what your circumstance in life, all of the women In this book you will love and root for and hate at some point in the story. My heart broke the most for Pooja with her relationships with her mother and her daughter and where being a child of both American and Indian cultures really shaped her. I really truly loved t ...more
Apr 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing
We all assume, in the West, that marriage happens when we love someone and that person makes our heart jump, right. Well, here is a different perspective on it . Kudos to Mala Kumar for undertaking the enormous task of bringing a human face to some of the everyday societal injustices that humankind heaps upon one another, since time immemorial, in an easy read format. She brilliantly succeeds in this debut attempt. The passion and empathy of the writer in the subject matter(s) is evident in each ...more
Jul 27, 2015 rated it really liked it
This is a story that delves deeply into the evolving gender identity of women in India and Indian American families. We follow Lakshmi from her turbulent struggles belonging to a poor caste in India, but with a loving family, to her daughter Pooja. Pooja has a difficult relationship with her mother, but you can understand so much of their struggles because of the depth the author gives do various circumstances that formed their personalities. Pooja serves as a transitional character that has the ...more
Velvet Lounger
May 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: epic, general, saga
What makes this saga addictive is the impact each woman’s own battle has on the way she treats her daughters. Each woman wants to do her best, but has been molded by her own experience, forcing her daughter to take paths they had themselves fought against.

Ms. Kumar has managed to narrate each story in a different voice, a different style, to suit each generation and time period. Her descriptions, particularly of rural India, are exquisite. The sights, sounds, and smells of Chennai flow off the p
Latha Kumar
Apr 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing

This is a compelling book detailing the lives of three women in the same family. The book spans several decades, continents and generations.

Beginning with Lakshmi, and 1950's India to modern day America and Deepa, the reader embarks on their journeys and is drawn to their inner most thoughts, emotions and struggles with the outer society and with each other.

The themes are universal.....discrimination, poverty, love, acceptance, discord etc. The reader is offered an intimate look at how these thr
Japneet (millennial_reader)
"I did have a problem with my sexuality. I was comfortable enough not to suppress it, but not enough to embrace it. Denial had made me a bitter person."
So, the book takes up many issues that are very relevant to Indians, in general and the Indian diaspora, in particular. The book is divided into four sections, wherein in three sections the main characters speak.
One thing that the novel made me realise was this: The definition of freedom or 'choice' can never be similar for two people. When he
Christie Bane
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 30, 2014 rated it really liked it
I received The Paths of Marriage as part of a Goodreads giveaway.

The story of three generations of Indian-American women, each struggling with personal questions of love, marriage, sexuality, and family. Lakshmi is a bright scholarship student who immigrates to the United States with her husband, a doctor. There she raises two daughters, the oldest of whom, Pooja, grows up in the United States and studies architecture, but is still bound by old world tradition. Following the failure of her arran
Jan 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: the-lgbts, the-pocs
This book was everything I wanted it to be, and so much more: a perfect mixture of misogyny, casteism, racism, homophobia and identity politics. This is a book about being several kinds of minority, and how everything always intersects.

"...the intersection of being a common Indian and a common gay woman was infinitely more complicated than the individual groups."

This book also highlighted something that has always bothered me about the mainstream view of coming out: most people always allude to
Ruben Kingue
Mar 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I might not be a novel expert, but the emotion I got from this novel was very intense. I loved each story of all three women, for each of them told their stories in a manner to bring the reader into every phases they went through to become what they became in the U.S. I loved every page of this book especially not because it's an LGBT novel, but just because of the fact that the story was well told, the characters were very unique, and the moral of the story was very heartbreaking. Mala is an am ...more
Apr 23, 2020 rated it it was ok
This started out well, but as the book progressed, the writing became sloppier. Lots of spelling and grammatical errors that were really distracting. A lot of the dialogue in the last third of the book wasn’t realistic. There were so many instances where I stopped to think to myself that no one actually speaks like this. I felt like the bones of the overall story were good, but it could’ve been made so much better with an editor.
Jul 15, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction, aoc
This book was written by a high school friend of mine. It follows three generations of Indian/Indian-American women through their choices about love and marriage. I enjoyed the first half of the book more than the second half, perhaps because it transported me into totally unfamiliar family dynamics and cultural background. I thought the writing in the second half of the book was less clear, as if the author thought the character’s actions should be much more self-explanatory (for me, they were ...more
Apr 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing
As a debut novel, it's a little rough in places (I was surprised to find Deepa's story the one that least held my attention, until we began to see her interactions with her mother and grandmother), but it was close enough to my heart to get me to write my first review. The Paths of Marriage tells the stories of three women, the story of mother and daughter over three generations. It's the story of strong women, of immigrants, of loneliness in a new world, of LGBT people and intersectional identi ...more
Jan 06, 2017 rated it did not like it
300+ pages on why being an Indian woman is something you need to overcome rather than embrace.
Elisa Rolle
Nov 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing
The Paths of Marriage by Mala Kumar: http://reviews-and-ramblings.dreamwid... 2015 Rainbow Awards Honorable Mention (5* from at least 1 judge)
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kelly seifert
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Apr 14, 2015
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Mahima Gupta
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Feb 24, 2015
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« previous 1 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Gay fiction/non-f...: Author Made Front Page of The Advocate! 1 15 Nov 24, 2014 10:11AM  
Author Made Front Page of The Advocate! 1 1 Nov 24, 2014 10:04AM  
South Asian Liter...: The Circumstance of Marriage 4 35 Nov 04, 2014 09:33AM  
Love & Social Change: Characters with Multiple Identities 10 37 Oct 04, 2014 04:35AM  
The Life of a Boo...: The Paths of Marriage 1 2 Oct 03, 2014 06:27AM  
FABClub (Female A...: The Circumstance of Marriage 2 9 Apr 22, 2014 04:32AM  

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Mala Kumar, the author of The Paths of Marriage, was born just outside of Los Angeles, and grew up in the suburbs of Richmond, Virginia. She is now an international development professional who has called New York City home since 2008, and has been lucky enough to work in, live in and travel around four continents.

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