Point of view. Every set of eyes has its own. Individual perspective is influenced by gender, culture, religion and socio-economic level, as well as a host of other factors too complex and numerous to mention. Everyone has their own viewpoint, and it is only with great effort that we are able to see through another’s eyes. Love Comes Later” by Mohanalakshmi Rajakumar not only makes that effort, but succeeds in providing an understanding of culture and faith that may be very different from her reader’s.
In this honest, emotionally tangled story of arranged marriage and the bonds of family duty, we meet Abdulla, Hind and Sangita, members of a complicated relationship triangle that mixes motivations and desires with often surprising results. Abdulla is a bereaved husband, eldest son, and successful businessman who is being asked to marry again, very much against his wishes. Hind is the ambitious young woman who wants more than she believes marriage and family can offer. Sangita is the American Hindu who finds, to her surprise, that the life she thought she wanted is not as attractive as the adventure she is offered.
The greatest strength of Love Comes Later is its non-judgmental tone. By describing without excusing or condoning, Rajakumar opens the door to understanding for those outside the Qatar culture. She reveals both the influence of societal pressure and the struggle of a new generation to reconcile thousands of years of culture, faith and tradition with modern life and practice. But all of this is underneath. What rises to the surface is a much more universal story of love and loss, one which anyone who has ever done either can identify with.
In a voice that is uniquely hers, Rajakumar tells a story worth reading, revealing truths that are worth knowing.
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