- Also check our best rated Romance Book reviews
Of Marriageable Age Paperback – 10 Mar 2014
|New from||Used from|
- Choose from over 13,000 locations across the UK
- Prime members get unlimited deliveries at no additional cost
- Find your preferred location and add it to your address book
- Dispatch to this address when you check out
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
'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 A spellbinding story of forbidden love. Three continents, three decades, three very disparate lives: Savitri, intuitive and charismatic, grows up among the servants of a pre-war English household in Madras. 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 strict, orthodox Hindu father goes one step too far 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. '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 'A big book, big themes, an exotic background and characters that will live with you forever.' 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
What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
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. The information on marriage laws and the caste system in India from the 1920s to the 1960s is fascinating, and Maas brings India to life MUCH more effectively in this novel than in 'Peacocks Dancing', where everything was 'really beautiful' or 'really terrible'. I enjoyed reading about the contrast between life in the Raj and India in the 1960s, after Liberation, liked the way Maas worked Indian myths into the novel, and found the 1920s love affair genuinely touching, if over-romantic. And though I guessed most of the novel's 'big secrets' by about page 150 (of 525 pages) that didn't stop me wanting to read on. The book kept me thoroughly engaged on tube journeys and before bed for a week.
However, bearing in mind Amazon's star rating, I would only give it three stars overall - simply because with a few exceptions I didn't find the characters very credible. I felt real affection for David and Savitri, but felt also that Maas over-idealised them, particularly Savitri, with her eternal serenity, her mysterious healing powers (Maas does present a rather stereotyped idea of the Mysticism and Wisdom of the East in this book) and her ability to bounce back from any hardship and survive without being bitter. I also found some of the material about David quite strange - he seemed to be 'returned' to England to prep school very late (I thought a lot of boys went at the age of eight - too young to have acquired a lifelong romantic passion?) and to be curiously naive about what his decision to elope with Savitri might do to her, particularly as he'd been away in England for several years, where he'd have surely come to regard his life in India from something of a distance. And would Savitri really have been able to change within a few days from a crushed, dominated widow to a woman of action, getting on a plane alone to Singapore to find David during World War II and working as a nurse? Even more importantly (slight spoiler!), having done this would she have been able to revert to a purely feminine role later? But all these things considered, I still cared very much for these two characters and found myself engrossed in their story. But I felt nothing like as involved with Nataraj or Saroj. I found Nataraj's metamorphoses from quiet, studious boy to sex god and idle young man-about-town to saintly medical student and doctor (and he seemed to qualify in no time at all after his Reformation!) unlikely, and I'm afraid I very much disliked Saroj, who I found a spoilt brat. Her behaviour to her mother (particularly when she found what she thought was her mother's secret) was just horrible, her selfishness amazing (when a particularly Big Revelation comes that affects several characters, her only thought is 'What About ME!') and the descriptions of her friendship with the vacuous Trixie (who also had a startling metamorphosis, from giggly brainless teenager to genius artist and documenter in pictures of her people's life) tedious. Some of the scenes, such as Saroj's suicide attempt (which seemed another bid for attention), or the scene where Trixie's mother Lucy decides to give Saroj's mother a piece of her mind, were so melodramatic as to seem almost funny. The novel really began to show strain in the final sections, as all the dramatic revelations came out. Some of the characters' reactions were completely unbelievable - one character, on hearing terrible news, had 'deep pain' in their eyes for about five minutes, but then seemed to respond along the lines of 'O well, that's sad, but life must go on and at least I hadn't seen the person for years'. And another bit of shocking news seemed to be ignored by everyone apart from Saroj. And everything of course was tied together remarkably tidily at the end. I also did wonder whether Maas was presenting an altogether realistic picture of Indian culture. Everything seemed to be either really bad (arranged marriage - surely it worked for some people?) or really good (mysticism, gurus, serenity of character) and it didn't seem quite right .
This being said, there were some beautiful passages all through the book that I will remember; Savitri dancing with the animals in the garden, Nataraj telling the dying Deodat his favourite Indian legends, Saroj's rare moments of affection towards her mother, some of the scenes involving the English teacher Henry Baldwin, some of the descriptions of Madras and the surrounding area. I came to the conclusion that Maas can certainly write, but would have benefitted from very attentive editing.
A good story, but one which never really manages to move away from the stereotypes of romantic fiction. Great literature in terms of style it's not - but it's certainly an enjoyable read, and full of good information about India and Guiana. But for a more complex picture of Indian culture try Ruth Prawer Jhabvala, Anita Desai or Rumer Godden.
A rollercoaster of emotions
A book to read and remember. I would recommend this book to all readers.
There are three main POV characters who are all very likeable despite their failings. In the early book it seems hard to keep track of all the different characters but you soon realise that eg one character's uncle is the same as another's brother and so on so it isn't very confusing and it's easy to have a map of everyone in your mind (that needs updating almost every chapter, mind!). You quickly become attached to them all and hope for a perfect ending for each of them. You don't get one, but as I said it's a happy ending and that's enough. The book is quite bleak at times so a sad ending would have been too much.
The main villain of the piece is very, very evil and perhaps a bit OTT but his motivations are sound. It's a dramatic story and full of coincidence and fate but it remains cohesive and believable.
There are several errors in the kindle version but, though occasionally distracting, it wasn't bad enough to either impede understanding or make me stop reading. Really, it's impossible to put down and the plot played on my mind whenever I did.
Would you like to see more reviews about this item?
Most recent customer reviews
Too much unnecessary waffle made me start skipping to try and get the gist and characters.Read more