We have reached the fateful day – it’s time to talk about The Bollywood Bride by Sonali Dev. Its perhaps an open secret around these parts that we haven’t found too much to love about this book. So, let’s dig in and talk about the whys and how’s with this book, and some larger thematic conversations as well.
Let’s start with a few ground rules:
- Since we’re anticipating lots of conversation, please try your best to reply directly to each other, that way they are alerted and can keep discussing!
- Discussing is the important word. Let’s have a conversation so try to keep the thoughts flowing and give your fellow readers something to respond to.
- Please reference the topic number you are responding to (if you are) so other Book Clubbers can hunt up the topics they want to discuss with you.
- Not that I’m expecting to need to, but be warned that I retain the right to delete any comments which go beyond the normal civil banter we have here at Cannonball Read. Consider yourselves warned.
There are also some additional topics that I’ll be putting up over at our Facebook Group, Cannonball Read Book Chat, throughout the course of the afternoon if you feel like chatting there as well. The guidelines above are in effect there as well.
Here are our topics to begin our conversation:
- This novel explores the idea that self-sacrifice is in many ways the coward’s way out, a running away not only from one’s problems, but from one’s true self. What are your thoughts about the ‘hard work’ of staying versus the ‘easy’ choice of running in both Vikram and Ria?
- Mental illness, and its stigma across cultures, plays a large role in this book. What do you think about its overall impact on the narrative? What are some examples of books which handled this particularly well, or poorly?
- Dev illustrates the so-called bubble of immigrant life in The Bollywood Bride. How does this affect the story she is attempting to tell?
- Can a relationship that didn’t work the first time, work the second? Does the book give us enough evidence to make an argument for either side?
- In her professional career Ria had been typecast as the ingénue bride. How does this roll over into other aspects of her life?
- Layering of the past across the present through flashbacks is a standard technique. How does the execution of techniques and tropes affect your enjoyment of a novel?
- Which of your favorite Romantic Novel enjoyable features (witty banter, smoldering, etc.) was missing from The Bollywood Bride?
- What’s your take on the importance of reading about non-dominant cultures?
Or just tell us how you feel about the book. Remember, this is the first of FOUR Book Club Reads this year, we will be voting in April for our Science Fiction Read, so head over to the Cannonball Read Book Chat to tell me your suggestions since we will be out of my comfort zone.
Okay, Cannonballers – have at it!