Review of 'Of Marriageable Age' by Sharon Maas





About the Book:
Title: Of Marriageable Age
Author: Sharon Maas
Publisher: Fingerprint Publishing
Language: English
No. of pages: 520
Year of Publication: 2015
ISBN: 9788175993129
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http://amzn.to/1VOij7n

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A magical story of forbidden love, spanning three continents and three decades. 

Set against the Independence struggles of two British colonies, Of Marriageable Age is ultimately a story of personal triumph against a brutal fate, brought to life by a colorful cast of characters . . .

Savitri, intuitive and charismatic, grows up among the servants of a pre-war English household in the Raj. But the traditional customs of her Brahmin family clash against English upper-class prejudice, threatening her love for the privileged son of the house.

Nataraj, raised as the son of an idealistic doctor in rural South India, finds life in London heady, with girls and grass easily available… until he is summoned back home to face raw reality.

Saroj, her fire hidden by outward reserve, comes of age in Guyana, South America. When her too-strict, orthodox Hindu father proves to have feet of clay she finally rebels against him... and even against her gentle, apparently docile Ma.

But Ma harbours a deep secret… one that binds these three so disparate lives and hurtles them towards a truth that could destroy their world.


About the Author:

http://www.ushanarayanan.com/


Sharon Maas was born in Georgetown, Guyana in 1951, and spent many childhood hours either curled up behind a novel or writing her own adventure stories. Sometimes she had adventures of her own, and found fifteen minutes of Guyanese fame for salvaging an old horse-drawn coach from a funeral parlor, fixing it up, painting it bright blue, and tearing around Georgetown with all her teenage friends. The coach ended up in a ditch, but thankfully neither teens nor horse were injured. Boarding school in England tamed her somewhat; but after a few years as a reporter with the Guyana Graphic in Georgetown she plunged off to discover South America by the seat of her pants. She ended up in a Colombian jail, but that's a story for another day.

In 1973 she travelled overland to India via England, Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan. After almost two years in an Indian Ashram she moved to Germany, got an education, got a job, got married, had children, and settled down. She still lives in Germany after three and a half decades, but maintains close ties and great love for both India and Guyana; and, somewhat reluctantly, for England.

Her first novel, Of Marriageable Age, was published in 1999 by HarperCollins, and is set in India, Guyana and England. Two further novels, Peacocks Dancing and The Speech of Angels, followed.

Sharon will soon be entering the digital world with the e-publication of Of Marriageable Age through the Women's Fiction publisher Bookouture -- revised, and with a brand new cover.

Read Author Interview (on Straight from the Heart) here


My Views on 'Of Marriageable Age:

Cover of the book is what helps the reader to decide whether to pick up the book to read or not. When I opened the package and looked at the cover; I knew my decision to review this book was right and I was going to enjoy reading it. For me, the woman on the cover was a strong woman; a woman who has been through a lot in life and has her own secrets. The synopsis mentions two names 'Savitri' & 'Saroj' but as I read the book I could identify the woman on the cover to be 'Savitri'.
When I started reading, I liked the narration style, the scenes described in details, characters portrayed beautifully. A few pages later I felt it to be too descriptive. I thought, maybe, I should skip a few pages. However, it would have been injustice to the author. So, I kept the book aside for a few days. When I picked up the book again, I started from the beginning - reading at a faster pace. As I continued reading and the story unfolded; I really liked the flow. The plot is interesting and you can feel the emotions of the characters, walk their journey with them, face their struggles and fill your heart with the hopes they have in their lives. Once you give in; it becomes too difficult to keep the book down.
"Each character's conflict, though unique, illustrates the struggles of the weak against the powerful--across decades, generations and continents."
Each chapter of the book is dedicated to a character & specific timeline. It is interesting to read the story from different perspectives - Savitri, Nat and Saroj. I enjoyed reading Savitri's story more than I enjoyed reading Saroj's; but that's just me.

Words that meant something to me -

How could he possibly know what real life was about? When everything you could possibly want is at your fingertips, when all you have to do is close your eyes and wish it, and it's yours, you inherit a sense of power that is completely illusory, for it is dependent on matters outside yourself."

The story has some surprising twists and turns but it seemed to speed up a little too much towards the end and that's led to 'introducing a character in a place where he is not supposed to be.' You will know when you read. If I 'have to' mention a con; it would be this.

Overall, it's a good book to read. Well-written, descriptive, interesting plot, characters well-portrayed and powerful storyline.

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