TBR Day. Monsoon Wedding Fever / Shoma Narayanan. 2012
This month's TBR theme is "new to me" author. I was surprised, looking through my stuff, to see how many of my older books were by authors I've already read. Maybe that just says something about my buying habits. Anyhow, I decided to go with something that hasn't been around all that long, but I have been rather anxious to read. Monsoon Wedding Fever is Narayanan's first book, so she's pretty much new to everyone.
The most notable fact about this book is it's setting, which is India. I confess to a whole lot of ignorance when it comes to Indian culture. So it was really rather fun to learn some new words and enjoy something a little different.
The romantic elements of the story were a little less satisfying, though. Riya and Dhruv were college sweethearts. Dhruv's upbringing in a dysfunctional family had given him a dim view of love and marriage. He got cold feet one day and abruptly disappeared from Riya's life. Six years later he abruptly re-enters her life when they're both guests at his cousin's wedding. The attraction is still strong; in fact, Riya quickly realizes that she is still in love with Dhruv. Dhruv's feelings for Riya are colored by his family background. He actually wants to find someone to marry, but he doesn't want to have strong feelings for that someone. Still, he's enormously attracted and he wants to pursue a relationship. Yet despite her feelings for Dhruv, Riya keeps trying to put Dhruv at arm's length. She relents, they have hot sex, then she pushes him away. And then she does it again. The conflict felt manufactured.
Dhruv's actions throughout the book made a lot of sense. He had grown up with a warped understanding of marriage and relationships, after all. But Riya came across as less likable to me. She blew hot and cold, was preoccupied with what other people thought of her, and was unwilling to be totally honest with the people around her.
Ultimately I'm glad I read it and I will be reading the author's next book which is due in June. But I have to be honest and say that this was, at best, an average read.