Sundarrajk's Weblog

Desirable Daughters by Bharati Mukherjee

Posted on: January 21, 2014

Desirable DaughtersDesirable Daughters by Bharati Mukherjee
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

On the face of it, it appears to be another finding the roots book, but in actuality it is a book about the lives of three girls from the bhadralok of Calcutta. The book describes how the life of the three girls, brought up in a traditional Bengali Brahmin life style, but sent to a convent school for their education turns out to be completely different from each other.
Each one is trying to hide the truth from the other as a result of the upbringing which sees many of the things they desire and have done in a bad light.
The first one ends up having an affair before her wedding and child out of wedlock. She ends up with a series of relationship of conveniences and finally settles to a marriage of convenience in America.
The second one ends up as a subservient partner in a marriage with a person of her own choice, but fortunately blessed by their parents. Her frustration can be felt, but she continues with it given the societal constraints that one faces in India.
The third one gets into a traditional marriage and lands in America where she feels bored and ignored by her husband who is busy in his own career. She leaves her husband, after the birth of their son, and has a series of unhappy flings. When it looks like she has found the love of her life and has settled a person claiming to be the out of wedlock son of her sister comes into her life and tries to wriggle his way into her life. Her live-in partner leaves her and she finds that the person who approached here is a fraudster with dubious background. She is forced to confront her sister with this fact and again one can feel the upbringing being a restraint in her being open with either of her sisters with respect to this matter.
The book ends almost abruptly, but it is a decent read.

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