Yesterday I finished a novel “The Immigrant” by Manju Kapur. This review is for Random House India Book Review Program. I would like to thank RandomReads for giving me the opportunity to read and review their books.
The Immigrant tells the story of Nina…and Ananda and complications in their arranged marriage. Nina is a lecturer of English literature in Miranda House College, Delhi University and is single @ thirty. She lives with her widowed mother, who always worries about Nina’s marriage.
Ananda is a dentist, practicing in Cananda. He comes to India, as his sister is planning his marriage, to meet Nina.
After a year-long, long-distance courtship, Nina and Ananda get married. Nina shifts to Canada where life is very different for her. Ananda helps her to adjust in every way. As a husband, Ananda is caring but he suffers from sexual problem. Where Nina wants to talk and find some solution, Ananda tends to run away from his problem. Deeply affected by loneliness, Nina gets a job in a library. Meanwhile Ananda tries to resolve the problem of his sexuality, without telling his wife.
Among some uneventful incidents, both Nina and Ananda divert from their loyalty and indulge themselves in extramarital affairs. After much mishmash, the novel ends with Nina’s decision to get separate from Ananda, out of her strong desire for freedom and hope of finding a new horizon.
Frankly speaking, I did not understand the gist of the story. The excerpt seemed appealing as it indicated that this story had something interesting to offer, but for me the execution of the story was dull and somehow meaningless (Though it started well). It was hard to extract a solid story/motive out of this book.
Apart from this, many times, the story keeps fluctuating between past tense and present tense. I personally did not like the idea of multiple Point of View and unnecessary details of Ananda as his introduction. There are too much ‘uninteresting’/ ‘passionless’ sex sequences (I won’t say unnecessary as it seems that the entire book is about this only). Sometimes it is hard to differentiate between narration and dialogues as if there’s some kind of hurry. There’re some unimportant detailed descriptions that lead the story nowhere, snatching its crispness.
Over all, I would say that I had high expectations as this book is by Manju Kapur, author of critically acclaimed novels like ‘Difficult daughters’ and ‘Home’, but I’m disappointed.