Posts Tagged ‘Relationships’

I recently read “The Marriage Bureau for Rich people” by Farahad Zama.

“The Marriage Bureau for Rich People” by Rufi Thorpe (via Goodreads)

The blurb reads:

“What does somebody with a wealth of common sense do if retirement palls?

Why, open a marriage bureau, of course. And soon Mr Ali, from beautiful Vizag in South India, sees his new business flourish as the indomitable Mrs Ali and able assistant Aruna look on with careful eyes.

But although many clients go away happy, problems lurk behind the scenes as Aruna nurses a heart-rending secret; while Mr Ali cannot see that he rarely follows the sage advice he so freely dishes out to others. And when love comes calling for Aruna, an impossible dilemma looms…

A colourful coastal town and contemporary marriage bureau prove a perfect backdrop for a splendid array of characters making sense of all sorts of pride and prejudice – and the ways in which true love won’t quite let go – in this witty and big-hearted debut novel.”

This is a great little book covering life in south India as Mr Ali opens a marriage bureau and helps people to find spouses. There are so many different characters, from the poorer members of society to the rich elite. Aruna is Mr Ali’s assistant and comes from a poor family who are trying to marry her off but struggling due to their poor status. She falls in love with a wealthy client but knows a marriage is out of the question due to the massive differences between their lifestyles and family status.

Mr Ali deals with difficult customers and easy customers, and seems to have a knack for sorting out even the most complicated situations. His wife, Mrs Ali, helps out occasionally and has her own ways of getting customers to cooperate. Their only problem is their son, who won’t settle down and get married but prefers to fight for rights and justice by protesting at demonstrations, much to his parents’ frustration. He is one example of not conforming to a society that sees certain behaviours as potentially damaging for that person and their family.

I never realised how complex a marriage arrangement could be: there are questions of marrying someone of the same caste or a different one, what benefits the couple bring to each other’s families, how compatible husbands and wives will be, how height and looks can rule out so many matches, and so on. There are so many things to consider but I feel like I understand it all a bit better now.

I give it 8/10 because it is a fascinating insight into life in such a complex culture and is a great read! I would read it again!

I recently read “The Girls from Corona del Mar” by Rufi Thorpe.

“The Girls from Corona del Mar” by Rufi Thorpe (via Goodreads)

The blurb reads:

“Mia and Lorrie Ann are lifelong friends. While Mia struggles with a mother who drinks, a pregancy at fifteen and younger brothers she loves but can’t quite be good to, Lorrie Ann is luminous, surrounded by her close-knit family and immune to the mistakes that mar her best friend’s life. Until a sudden loss catapults Lorrie Ann into tragedy and there is nothing Mia can do to help. As good, kind, brave Lorrie Ann stops being so good, Mia begins to question just who this woman is and what that question means about them both.”

It is an interesting novel, exploring a friendship which seems like the usual intense friendship that only exists between two teenager girls, until a chain of events starts which changes that friendship into something confusing and difficult.

It feels like Mia is the troublesome one with issues in her homelife and her personal life, and that Lorrie Ann is the goody two-shoes, who has a loving family, gets married and has a baby and looks set to have an ordinary life. It’s amazing how wrong life can go for someone who seems perfect in all ways. It seem a little bit unfair that Lorrie Ann gets all the worse things thrown at her and she goes off the rails and becomes a character who Mia struggles to understand.

I felt sorry for Lorrie Ann at first but then when she starts making stupid decisions, I find myself being less sympathetic and more irritated with the way she’s messing up her life. Mia seems to straighten out when she goes to college and her life seems to be pretty good and normal, and she is the more likeable character all the way through the novel.

You feel like you know the two girls, especially when you grow up with people like them, but then you discover something totally surprising which makes you wonder if you really knew them at all and can’t comprehend how you never saw that part of them.

I give this novel 7/10 because the plot thickens over time, throws up some many questions and deals with so many different issues. It’s well written and kept me reading on, but I’m not sure I’d read it again.

I have just finished reading “Wool” by Hugh Howey.

“Wool” by Hugh Howey (via Goodreads)

The blurb reads:

“In a ruined and hostile landscape, in a future few have been unlucky enough to survive, a community exists in a giant underground silo.

Inside, men and women live an enclosed life full of rules and regulations.

But some people choose not to conform.

These are the people who dare to hope and dream.

These are the dangerous ones.

Jules is one of these people.

She may well be the last.”

I picked this book up in Waterstones as it was on a display table by itself, and I was intrigued by the clearly dystopian ideas in the novel, a theme which I have been interested in for years.

I wouldn’t say it is as good as “The Hunger Games” but it is of sufficient interest as a dystopian novel to warrant some attention.

It takes a while to get started in my opinion, even though it dives right into life inside this huge silo, and doesn’t get exciting until people start dying.

It’s interesting how relationships are forged in the silo, with so many rules and restrictions on how they live their lives. The connections between people are vital in aspects of life and death in this novel.

I was disturbed by the way people are punished in this novel, and how easy it is for everything to go wrong quickly.

Juliette is an interesting character: initially an unknown from the bottom of the silo, her promotion brings up to the top of the silo where she starts to learn just how easy it is for things to go wrong and fights for her life and her sanity. When her future in the silo seems lost, she quickly discovers how much people care about her and how their help enables her to survive the very worst thing in their controlled world.

It is a really good novel, although not the best dystopian novel I’ve read. It’s always fascinating to read about different scenarios in a future where things have gone badly wrong. This ranks around a 7/10 because it is an interesting concept what with being underground and has good characters, but it ends too suddenly and too easily for me. I felt short-changed by the ending, but I wasn’t particularly enamoured of the novel as it seems to be missing something, a little je ne sais quoi. It’s full of ideas to think about, but it doesn’t feel as intense, desperate and gripping like other dystopian novels I’ve read. I would like to read the other books in the series, and I hope they will have more in them to hook me.