Tuesday, 8 December 2009

The Many Conditions of Love by Farahad Zama

Pages - 301
Published by Abacus in 2009

You may remember earlier in the year that I reviewed the first book in this series called The Marriage Bureau for Rich People.
I really enjoyed the first book and I was desperate to read the next installment, so I was over the moon to find that the library has recently acquired it.

This book is set about a year after the first book and looks at the day to day life of Mr Ali as he moves his marriage bureau into the modern world.

This book looks very closely at the marriage of his assistant Aruna, as she settles into married life, only to find a lot of obstacles to overcome. The book also looks at the relationship of Rehman( Mr Ali's son) and Usha, a very rich girl who is not a Muslim.

I mentioned in my previous book review for this series, that it had the feel of The No1 Ladies Detective Agency and I would say that this one also gave me that impression. It has the same simplicity about it that I found in the first book.

Unfortunately, I didn't enjoy the second installment as much as the first. I found the story just did not hold my interest. It felt a little like deja vu as you looked once again at the struggle for young modern Indians to live life as they would like, rather than follow the traditions of their parents. I found the writing slightly annoying. Everything that they do written in short sentences, without an interesting adjective appearing in them and repeatedly using the word 'then', to begin each sentence.

The characters got on my nerves in this one. They seem to spend all their time upset and arguing with each other. The book didn't even end on a high note; I actually felt depressed when I finished reading it, as two of the main characters went through such an ordeal to be together, then called off their wedding at the end.

I really struggle with the idea of marrying someone my parents would have selected for me and I feel sorry for the people who have to enter a marriage like this. However, as a parent I can see why they only want the best for their children and want to find someone of equal standing.

If you want to read about the caste system, then I would suggest reading the first book. The second book really doesn't live up the brilliance of the first.

13 comments:

  1. Hi Viv, I'm sorry the story didn't work for you, but thanks for the review anyway. :)

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  2. Such a shame that you didn't really enjoy this novel though reading your review, I can quite understand why - its so disappointing when you get the feeling that you've read the book before. Personally when you mentioned that the series had a similar feeling to The No. One Ladies Detective Agency, I was put off. Thanks for this very honest review.

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  3. Nice review.
    Not sure about it though, that other one sure sounds better

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  4. Aw, that's too bad. I'd still like to read the first book in the series, though.

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  5. Such a lovely cover! Too bad the book was a bit disappointing.

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  6. I like this cover. Sorry it didn't live up to it's predecessor!

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  7. Sorry to hear this wasn't as good as the first book :( It's always such a let down when that happens.

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  8. I must admit that the cover of this one appeals to me. :) Interesting that you compare this series to The No.1 Ladies' Detective Agency series. Thanks for your honest review.

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  9. It's always disappointing when a second book in a series doesn't live up to the first. Sorry it was a dud for you.

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  10. The cover is very pretty & colorful. I'm sorry to hear it wasn't as good as its predecessor but I very much appreciate your honest review. I like characters, their a huge part of most any book so boring ones usually mean a rather boring book. The caste system and arranged marriages boggle my mind a bit. I think I might like the first book.

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  11. Even though the book was a letdown, it at least looks pretty on your shelf! What a fun cover. This series intrigues me- it sounds like a really good basis for a story, so I'm sad it didn't live up to your expectations.

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  12. It's too bad that it's not as good as the first. I'll have to give the first book a look though since I haven't read it yet.

    I'm so grateful that I didn't have to worry about arranged marriages. Although sometimes I wonder if my dad had a hand in my husband and I getting together. Right before we started dating my dad told me something along the lines of "Whatever you do don't date him." It took me a while to realize he was probably using reverse psychology, knowing I was bound to rebel. :)

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  13. I just finished reading this book, and I kind of agree with you. The characters are boring and there is no story.

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