BookDragon Books for the Diverse Reader

Marriage of a Thousand Lies by SJ Sindhu [in Library Journal]

From outright untruths to complex subterfuge, the titular lies proliferate throughout SJ Sindhu’s debut novel, especially targeting the institution of marriage among three generations of a conservative Sri Lankan American family. Lucky and Kris are both gay, but their convenient matrimonial union finally satisfies parental expectations, even providing some semblance of freedom from further pressure to conform.

When Lucky’s mother – her parents, ironically, are divorced – calls Lucky back to Boston to help with her fragile grandmother, Lucky learns that her childhood best friend Nisha has agreed to an arranged marriage. That Lucky and Nisha were teen lovers who are still nursing unresolved feelings for each other exposes the impending union to be another sham. Somewhere far away, Lucky’s older sister escaped family bonds by eschewing marriage and having a child on her own.

In a community stifled by familial, cultural, generational, and religious strictures, Lucky must find her path toward open authenticity. Unfortunately, what should have been an affecting story of self-discovery and self-determination devolves into whiny shrillness with Emily Woo Zeller’s unrelenting overemoting.

Verdict: Skip the audio, go straight for the page.

Review: “Audio,” Library Journal, April 15, 2018

Readers: Adult

Published: 2017

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