Stepping Out With ‘The Wedding Season.’ #aww2014

Stepping Out With…is a feature on my blog where I step out of the YA world and review an adult book. Today I am stepping out with The Wedding Season by Australian author Su Dharmapala.
It is also the 14th book I have read for the Australian Women Writers Challenge 2014.

the-wedding-season

Release Date: May 2012.
Publisher: Simon and Schuster Australia.
Source: Won.

Synopsis From Goodreads:

Meet Shani – she’s thirty-two, single and has a job to die for. And she likes her life just the way it is, thank you! So why do her family and friends insist on trying to convince her that the only way to the perfect life is meeting the perfect man?
When Shani’s horoscope miraculously reveals that now is the best time of her life for marriage, her mother decides to take control. As the Sri Lankan wedding season opens she turns a deaf ear to Shani’s protests and arranges a parade of 101 potential grooms, in the hope that her shamefully unmarried daughter will salvage the family honour by finally finding Mr Right. But true life, like true love, can get very complicated. Amidst a riot of hilarious dates with would-be husbands, Shani has to cope with a minor Machiavelli at work, a house that is literally falling down around her ears, and a neurotic mother with serious cultural baggage. Worst of all, her best friend, who seems to have it all, is sliding into depression, and Shani seems powerless to help. Through a flurry of curry, cricket, sarees, and sumptuous ceremonies, Shani comes to learn that love comes in many disguises – and degrees of satisfaction – and that life is a one-shot game, even if you do believe in reincarnation.

My Thoughts:

4 out of 5 stars.

This book was such a fun read. We follow Shani, a 32 and happily single woman whose mother is desperate to have married. Poor Shani, the things her mother put her through were awful, though admittedly very funny. I was drawn quickly into her story and kept hooked by Shani and her three close friends, Amani, Tehara and Una. The bond these three shared was incredible, and I loved reading about the dynamic of their friendship. Without her friends I’m sure Shani would have suffered from a nervous breakdown with the pressure from her mother, work and the cracks sneaking up the walls of her house. All four women, along with the large array of minor characters, were well rounded and relatable. I felt as though I was part of their inner circle, sharing their lives with them. And Dharmapala’s descriptions had me smelling the curry and imagining the gorgeous Sarees so vividly.

Then there is this twist, a twist that completely blind-sided me and took the book up a notch. It worked really well for the story and I enjoyed this part even more than the first.
The whole time I was wondering who Shani was going to end up with, but I had no clue who it was going to be, which I loved. I love being surprised because I’m not surprised often. And let me just say I think the choice Dharmapala had Shani make was absolutely the most perfect choice.

I love reading Australian books and it was so great to see the representation of an Australian group that you don’t see much of in fiction. It was well written, funny, heart breaking and heart warming. Full of surprises, The Wedding Season will quickly draw you in and captivate you. It is a must read. I can’t wait to get my hands on Dharmapala’s next book, Saree.

You can add it to your Goodreads HERE.

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4 thoughts on “Stepping Out With ‘The Wedding Season.’ #aww2014

  1. Well it sounds like this was an awesome read for you, Rochelle, but I notice you say someway through your review that you didn’t know who she’d pick, and I feel a little sad that it ends up the protagonist does get swept into a romance, when she appeared to be quite happy not being in one. I’d began to hope she would go against all the wishes of those around her and stay happily single and not care for people who weren’t happy by that, but I suppose so long as it worked for the character and SHE was happy, then that’s okay. (:

    1. I can’t really explain it without spoiling, but the protagonist does stay true to herself. She is happy being single, but she would also be happy in a relationship if the right guy came along. She didn’t need to be in a relationship but she wasn’t opposed to being in one either. Like I said, I can’t really explain without spoiling, but the author made the right choice, and it was very realistic.

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