Book Review: A Newlywed’s Adventures in Married Land by Shweta Ganesh Kumar

The author got in touch with me on Goodreads and asked me if I would like to read and review the book. It sounded interesting enough for me to say yes. I don’t pick up many books because they don’t enthuse me enough. She was prompt to send me an e-book but me being the lazy person I am, took ages to get to reading it. Apologies for the delay, Shweta, it’s all because of my tendencies to ignore ebooks when I have proper books in hand. I’ve got to overcome this, especially given the fact that I’ve got so many interesting titles waiting to be read on the Kindle.

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Mythili is a newly wed. She has just got married to the love of her life, Siddarth(Sid). Mythili has been an independent young woman, working as a crime reporter, covering crimes of the most gruesome kind. Nothing fazed her or so she thought. Sid and Mythili had a passionate long distance relationship and were yearning to start living together after getting married. Mythili quits her job and joins Sid in Philippines.

For the first time in her life, she realises that she is a ‘dependent’, something she finds difficult to stomach. Already finding it hard to come to terms with her new status, she also realises that there is hardly anybody among the expats that she meets who is of her wavelength. Life as an expat is a whole new ball game , and one that Mythili doesn’t know the rules of. And she isn’t quite sure she wants to either. She finds completely herself out of place in her new environment, be it the people she meets or the city that she lives in. To add to her discomfort, all her efforts of finding a job seem to fall flat as well. Her unhappiness and dissatisfaction starts to have a bearing on her life with Sid. She wonders if she would end up joining others around her as a dissatisfied housewife.

It is a charming, often hilarious, very real narrative of Mythili’s new life. I could relate to Mythili’s situation quite a bit, even though I haven’t been in a similar place myself. It is a situation that very common these days. Shweta writes with eloquence about Mythili’s experience of uprooting herself, to follow her heart and then wondering if it if was all wrong, wondering where things started to unravel, and how she picks it back up and puts her life back on track. Relocating yourself to a different place and starting a new life might sound romantic and exciting, it comes with its own challenges and issues.

The author also captures the insulated lives that expats sometimes end up leading. A life centred around themselves and their communities rather than making an effort to integrate themselves with the land that is their home now.

It is a fast paced, absorbing read which keeps you hooked and you find yourself cheering for Mythili. The characters were real, and some of the expats described, they are oh so familiar! I thought Sid was a sweetheart, and the relationship that Sid and Mythili shared was very sweet and heartwarming.

I particularly liked the way each chapter opens with a quote from Alice in Wonderland. Every quote was relevant to what Mythili was going through and I thought it was a brilliant idea by the author. In so many ways Mythili was like Alice falling into a rabbit hole with no control over her circumstances. Would I recommend it, yes of course! It is a 4/5 from me, and a book that I think a lot of us would identify with and enjoy.

About the Author
Shweta Ganesh Kumar is a writer and travel columnist. An alumnus of the Symbiosis Institute of Mass Communication, she worked as Communications Officer for Greenpeace India and as a correspondent with CNN-IBN, before dedicating her life to writing. She has written two other books as well, ‘Between the Headlines-The travails of a TV reporter’ and ‘Coming Up On The Show… The Travails of a news trainee’.

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