Monday, July 23, 2012

#BookReview: And Laughter Fell from the Sky - Jyotsna Sreenivasan

Have you ever seen two people that you were sure were siblings or, better yet, perfect strangers, because there was no chemistry between them?  That's how I felt the whole time I was reading And Laughter Fell from the Sky.  While Jyotsna Sreenivasan has written several nonfiction books, this was her first work of fiction.  I'm afraid that she has a lot more work to do before crossing into this genre.

What Sreenivasan has given us is the story of Rasika and Abhay, mid-20s Indian-Americans.  Abhay is a friend of Rasika's younger brother, so while the two know each other from childhood, they don't really know each other.  A chance encounter in a coffee shop gives them a chance to reacquaint themselves.  From there, the road gets bumpy.

Rasika is expected to marry and if she can't find a suitable husband, her parents will find one for her.  Raised with traditional Indian values, she's an American girl at heart and longs to be independent, but she still lives with her parents.  She spends a lot of time sneaking around behind their backs, using her friend, Jill, as an alibi.

Abhay has recently returned to Ohio after living in a commune for two years.  His parents would much prefer that he do something meaningful with his life, like go to law school or graduate school.  He's unsure of what he should be when he grows up, but he knows he wants to make a difference in the world.

When Rasika and Abhay run into each other, you would expect sparks to fly.  Instead, there's little to no fizzle.  Readers will find themselves going through all 336 pages and not caring one way or another if the two of them end up together.  At no point does the author give them enough dialogue with each other to convince the reader that they even like each other as something beyond friends.  They could have picked random people off of the street and I would have been convinced that they had more in common with them than with each other.



 336pp
Published: June 2012
Disclaimer: Copy of book received from publisher, opinions are my own.

 
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