The Newlyweds

Rearranging Marriage in Modern India

by Chandra Sundeep
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Cover picture of The Newlyweds by Mansi Choksi

Mansi Choksi’s The Newlyweds: Rearranging Marriage in Modern India is a meticulously researched investigative masterpiece. Within its pages, Choksi delves into the lives of three courageous couples who defy societal norms to script their own (love) stories.

It is vital to acknowledge that this narrative revolves around these three couples and should not be taken as a representative of the entire nation or its people. India is home to many couples who have challenged societal conventions in their pursuit of love, and are leading fulfilled lives.

 

While I hold differing political views from the author, I want to emphasize that my review remains impartial and unaffected by these differences.

 

The three newlyweds in this story are youthful romantics in the pursuit of love. Unfortunately, in the process, they have angered their loved ones. Shunned by family, shamed by society, and even being threatened at succumbing to norms, these couples are prepared to face everybody’s wrath. While two of them have defied caste and religious boundaries through their marriages, the third pair is a lesbian couple.

Choksi’s writing is exemplary. She has followed the lives of these couples for over six years, and her research is well-supported by facts. Heartbreaking and moving, this compelling narration offers profound insights on forbidden love and marriage in modern India.

The author’s examination of love, society, culture, norms, and expectations leaves us with much to ponder upon. It prompts us to analyse where we stand today. As people. As a nation.

The book is divided into three sections, yet I believe the storytelling would have been more potent if each couple’s narrative were presented as a cohesive whole, as the segmentation occasionally disrupted the flow. Additionally, certain portions of the book come across as somewhat protracted.

 

Mansi Choksi’s reporting in The Newlyweds is powerful, evoking both heartwarming and heartbreaking emotions, making it a remarkable literary accomplishment.

 

Thanks to Feminist Book Club and Atria Books for the arc of this book. My review is honest and voluntary.

 

Wordsopedia Rating 3/5

 

Title: The Newlyweds: Rearranging Marriage in Modern India Author: Mansi Choksi
Publisher: Atria Books Publication date: 30 August 2022
Genre: Non Fiction—Political Format: Hardcover
ISBN: 9781982134440 No. of Pages: 288

Buy your copy here on Amazon

 

About the author

Mansi Choksi is a graduate of the Columbia School of Journalism and two-time Livingston Award Finalist. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times, The New Yorker, National Geographic, The Atlantic, and more. She lives in Dubai with her husband and son. The Newlyweds is her first book.

Get in touch with the author on her website.

 

This post is part of Blogchatter’s Half Marathon

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