Date: 28th October 2014
Genre: Contemporary romance
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Mili Rathod hasn’t seen her husband in twenty years—not since she was promised to him at the age of four. Yet marriage has allowed Mili a freedom rarely given to girls in her village. Her grandmother has even allowed her to leave India and study in America for eight months, all to make her the perfect modern wife. Which is exactly what Mili longs to be—if her husband would just come and claim her.
Bollywood’s favorite director, Samir Rathod, has come to Michigan to secure a divorce for his older brother. Persuading a naïve village girl to sign the papers should be easy for someone with Samir’s tabloid-famous charm. But Mili is neither a fool nor a gold-digger. Open-hearted yet complex, she’s trying to reconcile her independence with cherished traditions. And before he can stop himself, Samir is immersed in Mili’s life—cooking her dal and rotis, escorting her to her roommate’s elaborate Indian wedding, and wondering where his loyalties and happiness lie.
A Bollywood Affair by Sonali Dev was a wonderfully romantic read, at times it hit my heart deeply, to only then find me bursting into laughter the next. I would love to see this made into a movie! It is set in both India and the USA and tracks some of the things that happen when cultures merge and traditions are honoured long past their used by date.
Mili is a delightful character, she has an open loving heart, ever loyal and living in hope that one day her husband from a marriage when she was only four years old will one day come and claim her. However she doesn't waste away waiting. She courageously obtains for herself an education in both India and the America. The only family she has is one grandmother back in her home village. Mili works washing dishes to send her money back home.
One day into her life comes Samir, and her life is never the same again. He has come for reasons Mili doesn't know and so begins a developing friendship with him and something more. He finds that with this young woman that he can sit and write his next movie script that has been so far eluding him. Samir is a bit of a playboy, but in actual fact he cares deeply about people - his brother and his wife, his mother and the larger household. However as he shares more and more with Mili, he is invited by her to open up more and face the wounds of his past.
The first half of the book moved slowly although it was not boring. Once I was past midway I was fully entranced and just read until I finished. By then I was fully into the Indian culture and various words used and it was all so heartwarming, heart breaking, and humorous that I had to read on. I loved all of Samir's family, they were wonderful.
This book is about tradition, expectations, eastern and western values meeting, family values, forgiveness and love. Above all else, love. I do so hope Sonali Dev will continue to write more such books.