Book Review of Milan - A Wedding Story
by Lakshmi Menon
"When a daughter turns marriageable age, what should a responsible father do? Easy- wed her to the most suitable boy who comes knocking on the door. Jai Bharadwaj, Mili's father and owner of The Serenity Tea Estate in the idyllic Nilgiris would've probably liked to do the same, but being who he was, he had to ask her first. What would she say? " That was the blurb of the new book Milan - A Wedding Story, authored by Simi K. Rao. It is a recently published contemporary romance.
Milan is a story of a traditional arranged marriage in India. The bubbling character Mili meets her old school mate Ahaan again, through a marriage proposal brought by his mother. Mili remembers how she used to tease him in their school days, and she was glad to know that he actually likes her and has no hatred towards her. Her parents were too overjoyed with the proposal and hoped Mili too accepts it.
To their luck, after careful consideration, she accepts the proposal, whom everyone thinks as a good catch, but like any girl of her age, she too has her own trepidation about the future since she had no plan of an arranged marriage in her own life. But she slowly accepts the proposal which her parents feel is the right one for her, like an obedient daughter just the way her older sister had done four years ago, who is happy now, but in her case Mili gets time to know Ahaan better and actually falls in love with him before the wedding. So love comes after the marriage is arranged, and the story ends in their marriage, without any twists or complications. These days such marriages are not rare, where the boy and girl get a chance to know each other before their marriage, arranged by the parents, with the elders’ permission, and
they subsequently fall in love before the wedding.
Written in a simple language, I like the way the author’s description about each setting which makes one visualize the scene clearly, the anxiety of the parents sending away their loving and pampered younger daughter in marriage, Mili's anxieties of the marriage, and also how the relationship between Mili and Ahaan develops step by step, in a short time, and then they fall in love completely before the wedding.
Explanations of various Indian terms and rituals, including some recipes, are described at the end, for a better understanding.
I enjoyed reading it. However, I feel that it would have been fantastic if one more chapter was added to it about their new life of few months, which gives the reader an idea whether her decision was right.
I wish the author all the best.
About the Author: Simi K. Rao was born and grew up in both northern and southern India before relocating to the U.S., where she has lived for several years. She is the author of multicultural contemporary romantic fiction. The inspiration for her books and other creative projects comes from her own experience with cross-cultural traditions, lifestyles and familial relationships, as well as stories and anecdotes collected from friends, family and acquaintances. Rao enjoys exploring the dynamics of contemporary American culture blended with Indian customs and heritage to reflect the challenges and opportunities many Indian-American women face in real life. Much of Rao's down time is devoted to creative pursuits, including writing fiction, poetry and photography. She is an avid traveler and has visited many locations around the world. A practicing physician, Rao lives in Denver with her family. Her published works include Inconvenient Relations and The Accidental Wife. She is currently at work on her next release.
You can connect with her at http://simikrao.com/ , https://www.facebook.com/simikrao/ and Twitter @SimiKRao.
The book is available here - Amazon.com