An Incurable Insanity
written by Simi K. Rao
published by Tate Publishing
Why did I pick this book: I was asked by the publicist to review this book. (I received a copy of this book for review purposes.)
Did I enjoy this book: I couldn’t really enjoy it because I was pretty much confused by it. But I’ll discuss the book to the best of my ability.
The bright spots: First, the cover art is lovely. Second, she starts the novel with a quote from Ambrose Bierce, “Love: a temporary insanity curable by marriage.” Then she follows this quote by saying, “This tale is an attempt to prove the reverse or at least give it a chance.”
Awww. How could I resist? It just seemed so promising.
But then I started reading. The story goes something like this: An Indian woman is being heavily courted by many suitors for an arranged marriage. After seeing a picture of one fetching suitor, she decides,”OH, yeah baby, he da ONE!!!,” or something like that . . . the Indian equivalent of love at first sight. On her wedding night, Mr. Super Hot tells her he’s not interested in well, you know because he’s already got some serious hanky-panky going on with his boss’s wife.
HUH? So why did he agree to the arranged marriage? Apparently, he didn’t want to disappoint his dying grandfather. But no worries; he’s got it all worked out. He’ll just return her in two months and say it didn’t work out. Grandpa would be so proud!
From there, the couple fights for several chapters before falling hopelessly in love.
Maybe I’m just a jaded American who doesn’t appreciate the romantic virtues of arranged marriages, infidelity, and lies. Or maybe this story just doesn’t make sense.
Would I recommend it: Gosh, maybe I’ll recommend it just so someone can explain it to me.
Will I read it again: No.
About the book: Shaan is a recent 27 year old aerospace masters grad, who lands the perfect job in a leading aeronautics and space exploration company in Los Angeles. At the urging of his parents’ he goes down the traditional arranged marriage route, leaving behind a lover and a complicated relationship in Los Angeles. As a result, Shaan and Ruhi’s marriage has an awkward and uncomfortable start. The begrudging spouses make a pact: Ruhi will stay with Shaan in the United States only long enough to avoid embarrassment from their family and peers. Ruhi, remaining optimistic thinks that she can use this time to try and win Shaan’s heart, but to no avail. Follow Ruhi and Shaan on a roller coaster ride as they attempt to be “friends without benefits” and expose their true selves to each other in search of love and happiness.
While An Incurable Insanity provides fascinating glimpses into traditional Indian culture, it is an intriguing love story with universal appeal.
About the author: Simi K. Rao was born in India and has been living in the United States for several years. The inspiration for An Incurable Insanity came from what she has seen transpire among and within the immigrant community. Some of the experiences included are her own; some have been garnered from friends and casual conversations with acquaintances.