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#BookReview The Runaway Bridegroom by Sundari Venkatraman

 

The Runaway Bridegroom by Sundari Venkatraman 

Blurb

 Chanda Maheshwari’s family is shaken when her thirteen-year-old bridegroom Veerendra runs away immediately after the wedding. The eight-year-old child doesn’t even understand the impact on her life. Unable to face their neighbours and friends, the Maheshwaris move from their village to Jaipur and begin a new life in the city.
 
Fourteen years later, Chanda is studying in a Delhi College. She takes up a temporary job at RS Software Pvt. Ltd. and falls head-over-heels for the boss of the operation. But what about  Ranveer Singh? Is he interested in her?
 
Ranveer’s secretary Shikha is desperate to make him fall for her. All she wants is life-long security with a rich man. But it’s nerd Abhimanyu who keeps getting in the way. Abhi is Ranveer’s second-in-command and Shikha isn’t keen on him as she’s eyeing the main chance. 
 
When Ranveer appears to show interest in Chanda, she’s faced with a new problem. Astrologer Vidyasagar insists that she would get back with her husband Veerendra. Does anyone want to know what she wants? 
 
 Chanda feels torn between the man she has fallen for and the family values that have been instilled in her. Will she ever find happiness? 

My Review:

The runaway bridegroom by Sundari Venkatraman has an intriguing title and an equally intriguing theme – child marriage – which even in this day and age is, sadly, a socially relevant issue in India.
I liked the beginning that Sundari has etched. The plight of the girl is gut wrenching without overt emphasis on description. I was pulled in by the revulsion I felt for the situation. Chanda is the victim of a social evil and her counterpart doesn’t escape the brunt of the situation either.
As I read on, I found the theme of the book becoming buried in subplots and secondary characters which, due to the short length of the work, one couldn’t find so relatable.
Sundari’s descriptions are vivid and the story doesn’t pause anywhere. She takes up right into the minds of people very set in their beliefs – for example, a detective basing his investigation on astrological predictions. However, the satire due here was missing. The one thing I couldn’t get over was that the culprits, the parents who instigate such evils, escape unscathed and in fact are upheld as understanding and supportive even. The characters don’t take a leap against the society norms for their love. Maybe my expectation of the story was different. I mean, the author does say she writes only to entertain. But I kept expecting a stand on this issue which is so relevant to Indian society. I was disappointed that I didn’t find it.

I give this book three stars.

Read it for Indian setting and a light read that makes no statements.

I was given a copy of the book in return for an honest,  unbiased review.

 
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