Date Completed: (10/3/2015)
This novel tells the tale of a young orphan who moves from India to Canada to start his dental practice. Soon, he realizes how lonely he is, and begins searching for a wife. Unfortunately for him, he doesn’t feel comfortable with any of the women around him and resorts to returning to India for an arranged marriage thanks to his sister. He’s happy with this intellectual woman, Nina, who travels back with him to Canada.
The story then follows her journey as an immigrant in Canada, through all of her unhappiness and the trouble to which she eventually goes to find her place in Canadian society. Her breakthrough comes in the form of a feminist book club, where she decides to return to school for a degree in Library Science, following her passion for books.
Spoiler alert: Meanwhile, her husband finds a mistress, she finds a mister, they both have love affairs and find that they are moved too far away from their marriage. The novel ends on a sour note, with Nina being raped by her ex-lover, breaking up her marriage to return to her single life.
I relate to this story in that often I find myself lonely and think I should search for somebody. However, when I find somebody to love I cannot stay with them for longer than two years because I realize all the faults in them and refuse to give myself away entirely.
This book made me think about the Indian revolution more in depth and how it affected the civilians, and especially the emigrants’ lives.
Manju Kapur is an Indian novelist, teaching at the Delhi University, similar to Nina in many ways. She went to Halifax to study at the University there, like Nina as well. She writes romance tales mostly, and stories about real-life.