I read some amazing books in 2020 and I would like to share them again with you, updated with the authors most recent releases and their biography.
Today I am delighted to share my review from March 2020 for this lovely and engaging romance, Marriage Unarranged by Ritu Bhathal.
About the book
started ended with that box…
Aashi’s life was all set. Or so she thought.
Like in the Bollywood films, Ravi would woo her, charm her family and they’d get married and live happily ever after.
But then Aashi found the empty condom box…
Putting her ex-fiancé and her innocence behind her, Aashi embarks upon an enlightening journey, to another country, where vibrant memories are created, and unforgettable friendships forged.
Old images erased, new beginnings to explore.
And how can she forget the handsome stranger she meets? A stranger who’s hiding something…
My review for Marriage Unarranged from March 12th 2020
What a lovely story and one I enjoyed very much.
This is a romance and an exploration of life in families where parents are striving to maintain cultural traditions, as the younger generation adapt and engage in the environment they were born into. For Aashi’s parents and those of her fiancee Ravi, the drama that unfolds is unthinkable, but love and a realisation that losing face in the community is not the end of the world, opens the door to a new beginning.
With the support of her brothers Sunny and Bali, her friend Kiran and a fellow traveller Arjun, Aashi finds the strength to move on.
The central part of the story is set in India where the five friends set out to discover their roots without the guiding hand of parents on previous visits, and for Arjun for the first time. Simple pleasures such as watching a Bollywood movie in an authentic Indian cinema with all the trimmings and exploring the colourful markets. Then taking the train to Amritsar to celebrate the harvest festival of Vaisakha along with thousands of pilgrims, and on a more emotive visit to pay their respects at Jallianwala Bagh garden the site of the infamous Amritsar massacre.
A the end of the two week trip which has been a mixture of business and pleasure, and with a deeper sense of family and tradition, love is also in the air. As the group leave India and return to Britain, it is clear that life will be different for them all.
The author has created characters that are engaging and memorable. The story is told from each of their perspectives and this enables the reader an opportunity to get to know them better and to witness their growing awareness of their strengths and how their futures will unfold.
The novel is well written and flows with a wonderful sense of humour. Bhathal also offers the reader an opportunity to participate in the multi-cultural world we live in, a privilege and a reminder of how our lives are the richer for it. Highly recommended.
Also by Ritu Bhathal
About Ritu Bhathal
Ritu was born in Birmingham in the mid-1970’s to migrant parents, hailing from Kenya but with Indian origin. This colourful background has been a constant source of inspiration to her.
From childhood, she always enjoyed reading. This love of books is mostly credited to her mother. The joy of reading spurred her on to become creative in her own writing, from fiction to poetry. Winning little writing competitions at school and locally gave her the encouragement to continue writing.
As a wife, mother, daughter, sister, and teacher, she has drawn on inspiration from many avenues to create the poems that she writes.
A qualified teacher, having studied at Kingston University, she now deals with classes of children as a sideline to her writing!
Ritu also writes a blog, a mixture of life and creativity, thoughts and opinions, which was recently awarded The Best Overall Blog Award at the Annual Bloggers Bash Awards in 2017.
Ritu is happily married and living in Kent, with her Hubby Dearest, and two children, not forgetting the furbaby Sonu Singh.
Thank you for dropping in today and I hope you have enjoyed my review of Ritu’s book … Sally.