Having read Mills & Boon, chicklits and romantic novels for over 15 years now, I get a bit skeptical when I come across a novel or in this case, a novella that falls into the romantic genre. It is easy to go wrong with this genre, isn’t it? But, Sumeetha manages to do a good job with her book, The Perfect Groom.
The story line is different, but not unique. The “surprise factor” in the book has been dealt with many a times in both the literary world, as well as the entertainment industry consisting of daily soaps and movies. The story is all about Nithya’s life, wherein the story moves back and forth with present day Nithya remembering her days back at her villainous uncle’s house when she was younger. Present day, Nithya appears to be happily married to her perfect NRI groom. But in reality, the picture is anything but rosy. She is in a marriage that has nothing to offer and has no future. But, she doesn’t want to give Ashok, her husband, a divorce because she has a younger sister, yet to be married, and she doesn’t want to spoil her chances of getting married. The first thought that came to my mind was that it was a regressive portrayal of the main character, but, I realize that it might be true in most cases, considering how paranoid we are about the way our society thinks. Things change for better when Nithya meets her good old friend, Vasu and romance brews up between them. The story then explores the highs and lows of their relationship, entangled with Nithya’s baseless marriage with Ashok. The hypocrisies hidden behind the labeled cultural values are dealt with in a very sensitive manner.
The characterization of the 2 main characters, Nithya and Vasu are very well etched, whereas I feel Ashok’s character could have been more elaborate. Other minor characters have been dealt with finesse. The story flows smoothly and Sumeetha does an excellent job at maintaining the pace of this lovely novella. The edition is crisp and pretty well done, though, I wish that the vocabulary for the Tamil words used was given on the same page below, and not at the end of the book.
Overall, an easy to relate, fast paced, entertaining book. Given the circumstances, the story could have been yours or mine. If I have to rate the book, I will give it 4 out of 5 stars.
Rating – 4 out of 5
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