Wednesday, November 6, 2013
Review: An Incurable Insanity by Simi K. Rao
Her heart fluttered when she heard the sound of the key turn in the lock. She quickly adjusted her maroon silk sari with the yellow border, the one that had caught his eye, and waited eagerly for his footsteps.
One, two, three, four, five, six, seven... Yes, exactly seven steps before he stopped, hesitated for a few moments, then removed his shoes one by one and arranged them neatly side by side on the shoe rack.
She smiled. He had been mindful of taking his shoes off every day now. "I am not used to it, but I will if you want me to. It's probably a good thing to do anyway."
As he settled down, he would pick up the TV remote and, without looking at her, would say in his smooth baritone, "So how did you spend your day, anything interesting?"
Shaan Ahuja found himself bowing to tradition and agreeing to an arranged marriage to the beautiful Ruhi Sharma. He went through the motions but had no intention of carrying through on his vows. His last foray into matters of the heart with an American girl had left him scarred and unwilling to try again. Thoroughly disillusioned and disgruntled he wasted no time in making his intentions clear to Ruhi on their wedding night. But, he was completely unprepared for what his new wife had in mind.
My Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
I had originally scheduled my review of An Incurable Insanity to post in a couple of weeks due to the backlog of pending posts I have looming over my head -- but I can't seem to stop thinking about it.
I'm not sure what to say about it. And don't automatically assume that it is a bad thing, because in this case, it isn't. I started it on Saturday, finished it on Sunday and here I am on Wednesday still trying to tie everything up in a pretty little bow and put it away on my "read" shelf. But it won't go quietly.
I have been married for 15 years and let me tell you -- it isn't easy. And I adore my husband. We got married after dating long distance (well, if you can say 80 miles apart is long distance) for 3 years and living together for 1.5 years, so I feel pretty confident in saying that I knew him pretty well on the day we said "I do." So I can't even imagine marrying somebody that I didn't know.
The premise of this book fascinated me. To be in Ruhi's shoes. To be in Shaan's shoes. I mean, talk about taking a leap of faith. Yikes!
I love a good friends to more story - I've mentioned that before - but this was the exact opposite. A "more to friends", maybe?
Then throw in the fact that one of the involved parties has absolutely no intention of following through. That can't be easy.
And it isn't.
(side note - this review is not going at all in the direction that I thought it would)
The characters - I found myself really really liking them, though there were quite a few times where I wanted to grab them by the shoulders and shake some sense into them. Ruhi, in particular. She came across as a petulant, spoiled brat...but then I took a few steps back and thought about all the "steps" that she missed. This marriage was her first, her only, relationship. Marriage, people. No dating, no flirting, no messy break-ups. Marriage. She was completely naive. And maybe that allowed me to forgive her behavior just a little bit. Maybe...though she still generated her fair share of "eyerolls".
That being said, there was no shortage of emotion in this book. There was a little bit of everything. For every passage that made me want to smack somebody, there was one where I wanted to nod my head and say "see, you're doing it right". The swoony moments were swoony, and there was just enough humor to lighten moments at the exact right time. Thank you, Sunshine and that crazy bird of hers.
Now, I do feel like I need to talk about the writing. It was beautiful and fluid and flowy -- but it was also a bit...much. Not all the time, but there were times when I felt like a moment/scene/chapter/dialogue could have been cut in half and had the same impact. And yet, I don't know what I'd cut.
See what this book has done to me?
And stepping back and looking at my ramblings, maybe that is the sign of a good story. One that does grab a hold of the reader and lingers long after the final page is turned. It makes it a bit easier to overlook.