Of Marriageable Age Paperback – 1 Nov 1999
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'A big book, big themes, an exotic background and characters that will live with you forever… unputdownable.' Katie Fforde
'Beautifully and cleverly written. A wondrous, spellbinding story which grips you from the first to the last page… I can't recall when I last enjoyed a book so much.' Lesley Pearse
'It's a wonderful panoramic story and conveys such vivid pictures of the countries it portrays I was immediately transported and completely captivated. A terrific writer.' Barbara Erskine
'From the first page I was hooked with this enchanting book… unputdownable.' Audrey Howard
'A vast canvas of memorable characters across a kaleidoscope of cultures… her epic story feels like an authentic reflection of a world full of sadness, joy and surprise.' The Observer
From the Author
Thank you for your kind comments on my first novel! For me, the publication of "Of Marriageable Age" was a dream come true, and it is a miracle to be able to communicate, through a story, with so many people the world over.
Sharon Maas --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
Three children, two countries, three stories, three different decades - separate, yet cohesively bonded into one epic saga.
Nataraj (Nat), plucked from an orphanage in India by a white doctor, is given the chance to receive a good education, and quickly discovers within himself the power of healing.
Sarojini (Saroj) lives a comfortable life in British Guiana, until she encounters racism and hatred, and repeatedly defies her ethnically blinkered father, having recognized inner beauty in other people despite external appearances.
Savitri is a cook's daughter from Madras, the central character of the book, who despite her strict Indian family, manages to tie herself to the white family who employs her father, leading to a heart-rending sequence of unfortunate events.
Flitting like a butterfly between the three stories, the author explores deep, dark issues of humanity, but these are not permitted to consume the story, as they are beautifully counterbalanced by love and respect, by breathtakingly descriptive passages and exotic settings.
It's a period piece, a geography lesson, a mystery, a tragedy, a drama, a soap opera, but most of all a love story, not only for the central characters, but for the author to pay tribute to two countries that have made their mark in her heart.
If you like sweet, sappy love stories, or rich Indian culture and tradition, or even if you just liked the movie "Monsoon Wedding", this book is highly recommended for you.
Let me mention before going further that this book contains many scenes of intense inhumanity that will disturb you. For the most part, these scenes are played as tamely as possible without losing their significance. Nevertheless, this is not a garden and flowers romance novel, in the usual sense that most readers think about novels that deal with love and marriage.
The book builds its structure around three separate timelines that begin in different places tied to the three primary characters, two in the state of Madras in India (one in 1921 and the other in 1947) and the third in British Guiana in 1956. As time passes, you begin to notice bits and pieces of the other two story lines crossing over into each one, helping you anticipate a greater joining of all three in the end. A few things won't quite make sense along the way. Pay particular attention to those, for they are clues to parts of the story that will remain below the surface until near the end of the book.
All three characters are Indians by cultural background. Savitri is the cook's young daughter in an English household in Madras who keeps company with the English family's son.Read more ›
I didn't enjoy Maas's second novel 'Peacocks Dancing', and nearly gave this one away without reading it. I'm glad I didn't, as it is a much stronger book.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The interconnected stories across three continents offer so much colour and characterisation. I was held chapter rd by chapter. Read morePublished 4 days ago by breda
Well written, although. initially I did think that with the three different scenarios going on, it could quite easily have been three separate stories. Read morePublished 1 month ago by neptune
Thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. Loved how the three stories are told in parallel, with a promise of convergence expertly delivered, and then with some surprises thrown in. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Monika Bijani
I stuck with this book but thought it was far too long. The story could've been told in half as many pages. Read morePublished 2 months ago by bethiebrad
This was a very good story but a bit difficult to follow in places. However it had a very disappointing ending.Published 3 months ago by Sandy
I should have taken note of names as it jumps about a bit. Thought the end was a bit just pulling everything together but enjoyed it.Published 3 months ago by Janice Murray
Absolutely fantastic book. You go through many of the emotions: tears, happiness, fear, sadness, excitement. Such a wonderful insight into culture in india. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Minky
I chose this book but didn't hold out much hope as my latest choices have been poor , I was delighted that I chose well this time . Read morePublished 3 months ago by Carol Cooper