Amal Behbehani’s debut Dear Suitor is definitely the shortest book I have ever read this year. It is just 30 pages long, and I breezed through it in less than an hour. Amal’s tongue-in-cheek humour, however, makes up for the brevity. The narrative cleverly transforms what could be a daunting and serious topic into a light-hearted and entertaining read.
Set in Kuwait, the story follows a 30-something unnamed Kuwaiti woman and her encounters with meeting potential suitors. Presented in the form of diary entries, the book humorously unravels the trials and tribulations of a single Kuwaiti woman navigating the intricate process of finding a life partner in a society where matrimony is almost a societal norm.
Amal paints a vivid picture of the cultural nuances involved in this unique Kuwaiti courtship ritual. The meetings, initiated by the man’s family, set the stage for a humorous exploration of compatibility. She skillfully portrays the awkwardness and uncertainty that can arise when two individuals fail to click during these initial encounters.
The narrative format, while making us privy to the narrator’s innermost thoughts and feelings, suffers from a restricted POV. Since it is confined to the narrator’s perspective, it doesn’t give the readers much scope to witness the other character’s POV and thoughts.
The book, while enjoyable, follows a somewhat predictable trajectory. While Kuwaitis might relate to the book at various levels, for readers unfamiliar with the local culture and norms, an in-depth exploration of these themes might have been helpful.
While Dear Suitor may not revolutionize the genre, it does stand out as a refreshing take on the complexities of modern courtship in Kuwait. Amal’s wit and storytelling prowess shines through, making this book a delightful and engaging read for those seeking a blend of humour and cultural insights.
Dear Suitor is a witty exploration of love, courtship, and societal expectations, offering readers a charming glimpse into the challenges and triumphs of finding love in the Kuwaiti context.
Wordsopedia Rating 3/5
|Title: Dear Suitor
|Author: Amal Behbehani
|Publisher: Austin Macauley Publishers FZE
|Publication date: May 31, 2023
|No. of Pages: 30
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