Wednesday, May 28, 2014

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The Perfect Groom by Sumeetha Manikandan

The Blurb

Very little has gone right in Nithya’s young life. So, when a proposal from a young, handsome NRI comes along, her mother jumps at the opportunity and packs her daughter off to the US with her perfect groom.

Nithya seems to have settled in with Ashok, ostensibly happy, if as yet childless, in her new life. When an old flame comes back into her life, however, the cracks in her perfect marriage begin to show…


Having read Mills & Boon, chicklits and romantic novels for over 15 years now, I get a bit skeptical when I come across a novel or in this case, a novella that falls into the romantic genre. It is easy to go wrong with this genre, isn't it? But, Sumeetha manages to do a good job with her book, The Perfect Groom.

The story line is different, but not unique. The "surprise factor" in the book has been dealt with many a times in both the literary world, as well as the entertainment industry consisting of daily soaps and movies. The story is all about Nithya's life, wherein the story moves back and forth with present day Nithya remembering her days back at her villainous uncle's house when she was younger. Present day, Nithya appears to be happily married to her perfect NRI groom. But in reality, the picture is anything but rosy. She is in a marriage that has nothing to offer and has no future. But, she doesn't want to give Ashok, her husband, a divorce because she has a younger sister, yet to be married, and she doesn't want to spoil her chances of getting married. The first thought that came to my mind was that it was a regressive portrayal of the main character, but, I realize that it might be true in most cases, considering how paranoid we are about the way our society thinks. Things change for better when Nithya meets her good old friend, Vasu and romance brews up between them. The story then explores the highs and lows of their relationship, entangled with Nithya's baseless marriage with Ashok. The hypocrisies hidden behind the labeled cultural values are dealt with in a very sensitive manner.  

The characterization of the 2 main characters, Nithya and Vasu are very well etched, whereas I feel Ashok's character could have been more elaborate. Other minor characters have been dealt with finesse. The story flows smoothly and Sumeetha does an excellent job at maintaining the pace of this lovely novella. The edition is crisp and pretty well done, though, I wish that the vocabulary for the Tamil words used was given on the same page below, and not at the end of the book. 

Overall, an easy to relate, fast paced, entertaining book. Given the circumstances, the story could have been yours or mine. If I have to rate the book, I will give it 4 out of 5 stars. 

Rating - 4 out of 5

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Meet the author

The Author's Thoughts

An author and a freelance writer, Sumeetha Manikandan has been writing for many years now. After working in dotcom companies, like Sulekha for over a decade, she started freelancing from home. 

Her debut novella, 'The Perfect Groom' was initially written in a script format, which was later converted into a novella for Indireads. The Perfect Groom touches a taboo subject that is most often shrouded in secret whispers and exclamations in the tambrahm community. Inspired by a real anecdote, 'The Perfect Groom' is in parts the true story of a girl who rose above myriad challenges to make her own way in life.
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