Book Review: Love Marriage by V.V. Ganeshananthan.
“Love Marriage is the first novel of promising young writer V.V. Ganeshananthan. What began as her Harvard senior thesis has blossomed into a multi-generational, multicultural tale of love, tradition, and family.
The fictional story unfolds through the eyes of Yalini, an American-born daughter of Sri Lankan immigrants. As Yalini reveals the secrets of her family’s past in Sri Lanka, including the story of her uncle, a former militant Tamil Tiger, readers witness her internal struggle between American modernity and the customs of her ancestors. The thread of differing types of marriages (arranged, love, self-arranged, outside, cousin, village, abroad, without consent, under pressure, proper and improper) unites the pieces of her relative’s stories that she can wheedle out of her close-lipped parents. For the rest, she must rely on her dying uncle, whose time is quickly coming to a close.
Reminiscent of Jhumpa Lahiri’s The Namesake, Ganeshananthan’s Love Marriage has the capability to transcend American indifference, quietly sharing the background and history of a culture frequently identified as the enemy. The novel, well researched and magnificently crafted, will surely (and thankfully) not be the last we see from Ganeshananthan.”
-Erin Dorney, July 2008