Book Title: Bombay Brides
Author: Esther David
Blurb: When Juliet and Romiel get married and relocate to Israel, they rent out their Apartment 107 in Ahmedabad’s Shalom India Housing Society to Jews. Each character who inhabits the house has a story to tell: about run-ins with the other residents, the diminishing community of Jews, cross-cultural conflicts, and the difficulty of choosing between India and Israel. Prophet Elijah, whom the Bene Israel Jews of western India believe in, plays an important role in their lives, appearing at critical or amusing moments and wreaking havoc with his mischief, but ensuring that ultimately peace prevails. Bombay Brides – as most Jewish men of Ahmedabad are married to women from Mumbai – is drawn from Jewish homes in Ahmedabad, Mumbai, Kochi, Kolkata and Alibaug. This is a story about home, heritage, rites, rituals, roots and what it means to be one of the last surviving members of a community in a vast multi-cultural country like India.
My Review: 4.5/5
Review: ‘Bombay brides’ is a collection of stories from the lives of women staying in the Shalom India Housing Society. The author has done a remarkable work with increased focus on the minority community-Jews. There are varied things which can be learnt about the lifestyle of Jews, their dining habits, their women and the Prophet Elijah. Inter-caste or inter-religion marriage is still a taboo in the Jewish community, maybe you would figure out why through the pages of their plot. A great fact about the novel is, there is nothing called as a boredom element in the plot.
The story has vivid characters in every chapter, be it Juliet who eloped and married Rahul (Romiel) or Myra, the mysterious lady, or even Georgia. The character like Ruby was quite strange, who could predict dreams seen by people. The character which I disliked in the story was Moses, who was weird in his own way. He ruined a woman’s life by subjecting her to give up her hobby and neglected the talent in her.
There are few instances in the story which indicate that making love is essential for couples to bond in this society. This is a very strong message blown out there for the relationships falling apart and misconduct of women in the society. The other essential message thrown out to the society is the importance of developing the interest within. These interests help you in defining your motive in life, even if you are abandoned in life… there is someone you can look upon in life, and i.e. You.
I have loved reading this book to the fullest, it helped me guiding through the lifestyle of Jews in our society. However, there is a sad ending to the book as it is pictured in Israel for its leg. It breaks my heart to read through the last few lines of the Bombay Brides.
“But then all love stories have a twist”
Thank you HarperCollins for the wonderful copy 🙂