The Runaway Bridegroom by Sundari Venkatraman
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.