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The Mango Season by Amulya Malladi

The Mango Season (2003)

by Amulya Malladi

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Priya's visit home let me into a culture I know little about. She was apprehensive to tell her parents that she was engaged to an American. And as I learned more about her and her family her apprehension turned into panic. She could lose her family for someone she loves because they didn't believe Indians should marry anyone but Indians. I thought the story was very interesting. I couldn't believe how racist the family was and how set in their traditional ways. I felt for Priya because she loved her family so much. ( )
  AdrianaGarcia | Jul 10, 2018 |
The Mango Season by Amulya Malladi takes us on a trip to today’s India as Priya Rso returns after seven years in America for a visit to her Brahmin family. She finds India dirtier than she remembered, hotter than she can stand and her family even more difficult to get along with than before. Her family are starting to question why, at age twenty-seven, she isn’t married. Her parents are intent on finding suitable suitors. She meets a new aunt but is appalled at how badly the family treat her, she is Indian and from the right caste but grew up in a different province which seems to make her unacceptable. She has something to tell her family, but fears that her announcement will end badly. After all, if they won’t accept an Indian girl, what will they say when they learn that Priya is engaged to an American.

Set against the harvesting and preparing of mangoes, the author draws us into this family with it’s larger than life characters. Like the mango, this story is a mixture of sweet and sour. At times it becomes overly dramatic while at others the family dynamics show a great mix of humor, emotion and caring. Of course, this is a multi-generational family that believes in the tradition of arranged marriages, so when Priya finally comes clean there is plenty of passion and controversy.

I enjoyed this story and loved the descriptions of the food, climate and customs of Southern India. Although I would have liked the characters to be more fully drawn, this was a light, informative and interesting read and the slight twist at the end of the book certainly brought a smile to my face. ( )
  DeltaQueen50 | Mar 25, 2017 |
I loved this book! And it made me soo soo hungry for Indian food!! Growing up I had a close family friend who was South Indian and I loved going to her house and immersing myself in her culture: the food, the Bollywood movies, the spices, the saris, the colors, everything! Since then, I've always had a curiosity and insatiable appetite for all things Indian and this book definitely whet my appetite again!

The story follows Priya, a twenty seven year old women, who is going back to India for the first time in seven years to meet her family. Little do they know that she is engaged to an American, Priya plans on breaking the news to them if she can muster the courage. Once back she gets immersed in the family politics and the dramas, and is anxious to leave. But it is mango season and there is pickling to be done so she must tough it out with her family and hope for the best. Can she tell them about her fiance? Will it break their hearts?

Great book, peppered with recipes and good humor. A perfect book club pick :) ( )
  ecataldi | Sep 24, 2014 |
This was a very enjoyable read. ( )
  autumnturner76 | Sep 22, 2014 |
bookring; from the TLC book club reading list. Priya has been in America for 7 years. Now on her first trip back to India, she is caught up in the drama of her extended family, the culture and the expectations. How is she going to tell them that she's marrying an American without splintering all her family ties forever? ( )
  nancynova | Mar 29, 2014 |
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For Søren and Tobias,
for all that I am and all that I hope to be
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Don't kill yourself if you get pregnant, was my mother's advice to me when I was fifteen years old and a classmate of mine was rumored to have committed suicide because she was with child. (Prologue)
It was overpowering, the smell of mangoes - some fresh, some old, some rotten.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0345450310, Paperback)

From the acclaimed author of A Breath of Fresh Air, this beautiful novel takes us to modern India during the height of the summer’s mango season. Heat, passion, and controversy explode as a woman is forced to decide between romance and tradition.

Every young Indian leaving the homeland for the United States is given the following orders by their parents: Don’t eat any cow (It’s still sacred!), don’t go out too much, save (and save, and save) your money, and most important, do not marry a foreigner. Priya Rao left India when she was twenty to study in the U.S., and she’s never been back. Now, seven years later, she’s out of excuses. She has to return and give her family the news: She’s engaged to Nick Collins, a kind, loving American man. It’s going to break their hearts.

Returning to India is an overwhelming experience for Priya. When she was growing up, summer was all about mangoes—ripe, sweet mangoes, bursting with juices that dripped down your chin, hands, and neck. But after years away, she sweats as if she’s never been through an Indian summer before. Everything looks dirtier than she remembered. And things that used to seem natural (a buffalo strolling down a newly laid asphalt road, for example) now feel totally chaotic.

But Priya’s relatives remain the same. Her mother and father insist that it’s time they arranged her marriage to a “nice Indian boy.” Her extended family talks of nothing but marriage—particularly the marriage of her uncle Anand, which still has them reeling. Not only did Anand marry a woman from another Indian state, but he also married for love. Happiness and love are not the point of her grandparents’ or her parents’ union. In her family’s rule book, duty is at the top of the list.

Just as Priya begins to feel she can’t possibly tell her family that she’s engaged to an American, a secret is revealed that leaves her stunned and off-balance. Now she is forced to choose between the love of her family and Nick, the love of her life.

As sharp and intoxicating as sugarcane juice bought fresh from a market cart, The Mango Season is a delightful trip into the heart and soul of both contemporary India and a woman on the edge of a profound life change.

From the Hardcover edition.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:22:15 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

This novel takes the reader to modern India during the height of the summer's mango season. Heat, passion, and controversy explode as a woman is forced to decide between romance and tradition.

» see all 3 descriptions

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Average: (3.46)
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