Saturday, April 28, 2012

Reading Off The Shelves: Serving Crazy With Curry

I am still working on those overflowing bookshelves!  This book I've had for at least 2 years gathering dust on the shelves  (have you ever tried to dust books?  It's pretty darn near impossible!).  The other night I was restless with what I was reading, so I grabbed this and began to read.

I was disappointed.  The main character, Devi is a young woman who's been laid off her job in Silicon Valley, and decides she's had it--and proceeds to slit her wrists in the bathtub.

Her mother, Saroj has used her key to enter Devi's place and finds her in the tub, still alive.  After a stint in the hospital, where Devi decides she's not going to talk, she ends up staying with her parents--her mother, Saroj is a traditional Indian wife, her father Avi, a retired successful business owner, and her grandmother, Vasu who's visiting for a few months from India.  Vasu is an interesting character--she's a retired doctor, a divorcee, and had a long term affair with a married man in India.  Her "I don't owe anyone any explanation" attitude has created a lot of tension between her and her daughter, Saroj.  Saroj feels her mother never loved her and never has adequately explained why she divorced her father.   Add into that mess the fact that Saroj's father committed suicide shortly after the divorce (when Saroj was five years old), and you've got a complex mess of issues between mother and daughter.  

And there's Davi's sister, Shobha.  She's a successful Vice-President of a company, has a husband who's a Stanford professor, and seems to have it all.  But she doesn't.  She cannot have children, and she entered an arranged marriage.  Shobha and her husband, Girish, are terribly unhappy and it's slowly making both of them toxic and bitter.  

This family is a mess.  I couldn't find any redeeming qualities in any of the characters.  Each person was so unhappy, and couldn't seem to find a way out of their misery until the very end of the novel.  Until then, it was just a bunch of unhappy people feeling trapped when all it took was making a decision and acting on it.  The issue of culture was a large part of their inaction, but I didn't feel like this was a good enough excuse to stay so miserable for so long.  I finished this book not feeling satisfied with the decisions they all made at the end.  I thought "Geez, it's about time you got your shit together, people!"  

My rating:  2/5; felt that the reasons for not taking action weren't strong enough to stay in such unhappy situations for so long and I didn't like any of the characters.


  1. Maybe the purpose of the book is to make you feel better about your own life?

    1. Gosh, I don't know! I just was not interested enough in these characters growing to care about how unhappy they were. I sound like a cold woman! But it just wasn't for me.