Multicultural love stories are close to my heart. My son is married to a woman from Thailand, my father cast aside the match arranged for him in the Armenian community to marry my Scotch-Irish mother. Even though the couple in Jyotsna Sreenivasan’s novel, And Laughter Fell From the Sky, are both Indian, their lifestyles and experiences make them almost foreign to one another.
Raskia, an extremely dutiful daughter who lives at home despite her career and financial independence, has agreed to an arranged marriage to satisfy her very traditional parents. But when she bumps in to Abhay, an old family friend, sparks fly. Yet Abhay has not followed the path an Indian son should. After leaving university, he has hopped around from place to place, incessantly brooding about what he should do with his life. Because of his unsettled behavior, Abhay is not deemed suitable for Rasika. She has to come to terms with her own needs and find the courage to defy the expectations of her family and her heritage.
Sreenivasan says the inspiration for this novel came from Edith Wharton’s A House of Mirth (which happens to be a favorite of mine). “I have always been fascintaed and frustrated by the character of Lily Bart in Wharton’s novel,” Sreenivasan says. “Her situation – the need she felt to fit into society by marrying the right kind of person – seemed so similar to the situation faced by many Indian Americans, who feel pressure to enter into an arranged marriage. So, I wanted to explore a Lily-type character who is a modern Indian-American woman.”
I thoroughly enjoyed watching Rasika along this journey of discovery into her true heart and spirit. And Laughter Fell from the Sky is an enlightening and entertaining novel, and perfect for summer reading.
Thanks to TLC Book Tours for the opportunity to read this novel.