Title: Love Comes Later
Author: Mohanalakshmi Rajakumar
Date Published: 23 November 2016
Rating: 2/5 anythings
When newlywed Abdulla loses his wife and unborn child in a car accident, the world seems to crumble beneath his feet. Thrust back into living in the family compound, he goes through the motions—work, eat, sleep, repeat. Blaming himself for their deaths, he decides to never marry again but knows that culturally, this is not an option. Three years later, he’s faced with an arranged marriage to his cousin Hind, whom he hasn’t seen in years. Hard-pressed to find a way out, he consents to a yearlong engagement and tries to find a way to end it. What he doesn’t count on, and is unaware of, is Hind’s own reluctance to marry.
Longing for independence, she insists on being allowed to complete a master’s degree in England, a condition Abdulla readily accepts. When she finds an unlikely friend in Indian-American Sangita, she starts down a path that will ultimately place her future in jeopardy.
The greatest success of Rajakumar’s novel is the emotional journey the reader takes via her rich characters. One cannot help but feel the pressure of the culturally mandated marriage set before Hind and Abdulla. He’s not a real Muslim man if he remains single, and she will never be allowed freedoms without the bondage of a potentially loveless marriage. It’s an impossible situation dictated by a culture that they still deeply respect.
I gave this book a 2 rating because halfway to the end of the book, the plot lost its focus and started going everywhere all at once which was really really confusing. So when the plot went haywire so did the characters and I am left feeling WTF just happened here.
Okay so here are a list of things that I didn’t like about the book:
- The pacing on the first half of the book was great. There we can see Abdulla going through depression after losing his wife and unborn child. He loses his faith in God, he just wants to be left alone with his grief but his family just doesn’t understand and keeps butting into his life. Stuff like that.
- But then in the second half of the book, the pacing starts to be off. A certain someone, I’ll call them ‘A’, met another certain someone whom I shall call ‘B’. A met B and within a few days of them meeting under unexpected circumstances they decide to YOLO with their lives and get married throwing caution to the wind. It didn’t describe how and why they fell in love and wanted to marry and whats worse A had to convert religion and A still YOLO-ed into the marriage and here I am like a very worried person/friend/reader going all “Ya’ll don’t think ya should REALLY think this through? Marriage is PERMANENT especially if conversion is in the mix”
- Some characters in the book had subplots which were explored halfway and then the author decided she didn’t know what to do and just left it. No explanation whatsoever. No ending. No nothing. This mind you causes me to feel like the book/plot was not thought out that well as the subplots did add more depth and dimension to the story but because it was left hanging it is just a hindrance and something that shouldn’t be included especially if in the end it didn’t add anything to the main plot except making people annoyed.
- Again, the problem started in the second half of the book. The characters went totes cray! One character, one moment hates being engaged then the next second gets pissed that her fiancee is canoodling with someone else and decides to spread slanderous rumors that said fiancee is gay. Like what?? Did you have to stoop so low? I mean why? Aren’t you supposed to be happy? Like I really do not understand. If you wanted said fiancee, you had them but you were all ugh I can’t do this I can’t get married… my life is over!!
- And another character, first ya’ll don’t want to get married and disagree with arranged marriages then ya’ll be okay with it without explaining why the sudden shift and all.
I have a nagging feeling the one I received on my Kindle wasn’t the complete version. Suspicions… suspicions…
Okay since I got that out of the way. The book wasn’t totally bad nor hopeless. I really did genuinely liked the first half of the book. It was really interesting to see how Abdulla this Qatari man who just got married dealt with this shock of losing his wife of whom he just fell in love with. How he loses his faith in God. How he is coping by being a workaholic. How he completely adores his late wife’s sister yet can’t completely show his adoration because the sister looks so much like his late wife which in turn makes him sad.
I loved how Abdulla and Hind both were coerced into this arranged marriage and both are hesitant to continue with it but forced to. I loved small details in the first half which were completely missing or irrelevant in the second half. It was so frustrating for me, that second half of the book because the first half was so good and captivating.
One other thing that annoyed me but I didn’t put this into account of my rating. It was just a small annoyance.It was the differing cover I got in my Kindle as compared to the one showed on Netgalley. Yes yes I know it’s not published yet so the cover is going to be different but still though. I was a bit miffed it was different ’cause I requested the book partly because of the cover. Huh… What to do eh..
But anyhoots I am thankful for Netgalley for giving me this book in return for an honest review.
*Btw yeah I realized today isn’t exactly Thursday so I am going to do a double post. This review and the usual Friday 56*