Desirable Daughters – Bharati Mukherjee

It was a quiet uneventful Sunday evening. Tired of bugging K to talk with me, I stormed off to find a book to read. It has been a a long time since I curled up with a book in hand and did not lift my face up till it was done. Scanning the rows of books at my bookshelf, I was looking for something that would not be dense. Something that was not quite the Mills and Boon genre. My eyes fell on the crimson cover of Desirable Daughters. I bought this book on a whim reading some review somewhere.

Book in hand, I marched back to the living room where the TV was on and some football game running. Covering myself with a warm throw, a bottle of water by my side and cellphone within reach I started the book. The book started promisingly, kept the tempo up, built on predictable lines and finished predictably too. Took me all of three to four hours to devour the book in one sitting. Eyes tired, I looked at the clock, it was 11:30 PM. Hauling K from his TV induced stupor we hit the bed. Sleep eluded me. I was not sure if I liked the book. I liked portions of it. Some characters had merit but on the whole I felt disappointed.

Am not sure if it is because I am getting tired of the Jhumpa Lahiri style writing. Bengali backgrounds, stereotyped desi lives, accounts of the nouveau rich etc. I was hoping for something to tie the protagonist of the novel with the premise she started with. At the end I was still left searching. I even felt a bit angry.

Does a book do that to you? Build up and let you down? Does it make you swear off the genre for a while? How do you cope?

6 comments

  1. I think I have had my fill of immigrant stories with Jhumpa Lahiri’s two books. I know I would have felt the exact same way like you did. Not because of Bharati Mukherjee, but because I am tired of the stereotypes.

    I have been reading No Onion, No Gralic… it’s hilarious! Try it, you will like it.

    @Suman: That book has been on my wishlist for a while now. That is the next book I plan to get.

  2. Yes you are right more Bengali writers and all following the same bandwagon. Wish it changes…want to read something more realistic and different.
    A book can really take you out of this world to the world of imagination and leave you exhausted if it is not upto the par.

  3. agree at the stereotype of Bengali authors. Jhumpa lahiri’s short stories were good up until halfway through, after that I was waiting to finish the book.

    @rads: Totally know what you mean. This was like that too for me.

  4. Wah, totally agree, I read one book of hers, and then read the second one and I immed for the pattern, and I was already sick of her style.
    A writer should show some variety I say!

    @SK: Very true. the problem perhaps lies in the fact that once “niche” market is too crowded now.

  5. hmmm…..i dont know about the book, laksh….but the bugging the husband to talk to me, part??….bah! happens to me all the time 😉

    vai.

    @vai: LOL! men!!

  6. When are you coming up with a novel Laksh? I’ll pre-order my copy right now!

    @Madhuram: In about 20 years? 🙂 My problem is am not a story teller. I just can narrate what happens to me and my life is kind of uneventful for a book. At least the parts I can go public with ;p

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