Friday, September 27, 2013

Book Review: Immigrant by Manju Kapur

Protagonists: Nina, the simple yet fiercely independent literature professor; Anand, the NRI dentist.
Set in the 70’s in India and later in Halifax, Canada; the ‘Immigrant’ is the story of how two individuals gradually change over times in new environments. Nina, an English literature teacher from an eminent college in Delhi gets married to a prized catch Anand, a dentist based in Canada.

The story beautifully describes Anand’s painful yet believable transition from a dependent, patriotic and shy person to an ambitious NRI dentist. In parallel, Nina’s struggles to make her widowed mother happy whose sole purpose is to settle her daughter in matrimony. The mother’s happiness knows no bounds when finally Nina agrees to consider Anand’s proposal.

The initial letters between the couple range from awkward exchanges to sweet nothings even before meeting each other makes the reader believe that love can happen even in an arranged marriage. However, what strikes surprisingly is that the romance soon goes out of the window once Nina settles into her married life in Canada. This is where the book slightly slows a little with repetitive narrative of Nina’s daily chores and Anand’s sexual escapades. It does pick up a little with Nina’s stride for independence and her involvement with another fellow classmate. Characteristic of all Manju Kapur’s books, Immigrant ends off wanting you to know more.

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