The Perfect Groom by Sumeetha Manikandan
What do you do when you are stuck in a loveless marriage?
Should you try and come out of this predicament knowing that it will most likely break your mother's heart and ruin your sister's future?
Or Should you just go on living and feigning happiness to everyone around?
Nithya is stuck in such a dark pit of a marriage where there is no way out for her. Ashok, her husband, is rich, handsome, lives in the U.S and provides Nithya with a comfortable existence except that all this is without any intimacy, love or support from him as her husband. There marriage is a sham. In the public eye, Nithya is so blessed to have snatched such a promising catch; what with her being a dependent raised on the charity of her Uncle and Aunt who leave no occasion without reminding her of their sacrifices to support her, her sister and her mother. Add an always demanding mother-in-law who is always making Nithya feel guilty of her inability to produce a child or blaming her for all of Ashok's vices; and a father-in-law who knows everything but has chosen to keep silent and harass his daughter-in-law into silence too, the mix is deadly and depressing for Nithya.
The Perfect Groom is a difficult book to rate. While at first glance you think that this is a typical arranged marriage gone wrong story, once you start getting better acquainted to Nithya and the other characters, you start noticing the novelty of the book. While the plot is nothing new, the treatment and the narration make this book a memorable read.
I was hooked right from the start and felt totally invested right till the very end. A story that made me feel outraged, helpless, angry and then sad for Nithya, I just wanted to punish the people who thought they could easily sacrifice a person's life as if she was nothing. Making a person feel indebted to you is one thing but making him feel helpless, hopeless and ashamed is totally another and this is what Nithya had been made to feel all her life. While her mother had been made a servant, she and her sister had been a constant object of ridicule and made to feel worthless and indebted to her Uncle and Aunt's gesture of providing a roof over their heads.
Sumeetha makes her characters real and we can easily connect them with the many similar people we have met in our own lives. Taking a very common concept of arranged marriage in India, Sumeetha has brought to light the exploitation, unreasonable demands and the complaints a woman faces at the hands of her family or relatives for things that are not in her hands but apparently still her doing. Nithya is a strong woman who has endured the worst in her life but is still hopeful of one day leaving her depressing marriage behind and find a new life. I admired Nithya's strength and felt sorry for her. Her constant scrutiny by her mother-in-law and the other women in her family and their conscious ignorance of her feelings and self-respect made me feel very angry and frustrated. I wanted Nithya to say something to them, to give them a piece of her mind but still could understand her reasons for keeping silent. Ashok, is a foul mouthed, spoilt and a total pig, in my opinion. He is unconcerned of his wife's happiness and treats her badly. Had he wanted, he could have saved Nithya from this sham marriage but instead he married her under false pretenses and then told her the truth knowing fully that she could not do anything now. His mother and father are also the same or even an higher degree of hypocrites and signify the class of people who act all high and mighty with big principles but are in truth the lowest level of scum with their narrow thinking and obsolete ideals. Nithya's mother lacks the backbone to stand up to her step sister but still manages to shield her daughters on several occasions through pure diplomacy. The romance when it comes in Nithya's life is like a burst of fresh air. I loved the emotional and physical chemistry between Nithya and her love (i wont tell you his name. Read the book to find out.) and fervently hoped that she get her much deserved happily-ever-after.
The story is beautifully set in the beautiful Mylapore and Sumeetha gives us a glimpse into the life and aspirations of a bride and her sense of responsibility after marriage. The scenes are emotionally charged and take the reader on a roller coaster ride which is bound to leave you shaken and touched.
I immensely loved the book and congratulate the author on taking up such a serious topic and doing justice to it. The story of many women in India, I think everyone will relate to Nithya. Super shiny 5 on 5 to The Perfect Groom and a strong recommendation that you do read the book. I definitely look forward to read more from the author.
I received the book from the author and the tour organizers and I am very thankful to them. The above review is my honest and unbiased opinion and in no way influenced.
Amazon.in: Kindle Ebook
Though the book deals with a complicated issue, at the end of the day, it is a romantic story. And as with all romances I hope to deliver passion and happy sighs that we get when we read a nice romantic tale.
Q9. If someone were to tell you one thing before you started writing, what do you wish it had been?
If someone had told me that I would one day get published, I would have started writing ten years ago!
Q10. What is your overall impression of the writing industry? Any advice you would like to give to the aspiring authors?