Marriage is a necessary evil in India and this is especially true in certain places, cultures, communities and families where under the tremendous pressure of society, family and even friends girls get married irrespective of their choices and often against their will.
Unfortunately, this is a sad reality in today’s modern India where we still continue to suffocate our women with the burden of our whims and fancies.
Reading Or Forever Hold Your Peace almost got me to tears. The story of the protagonist was so similar to the real-life story of one of my cousins that I simply could not help but empathize with these women.
The protagonist here hails from the Syro Malabar Roman Catholic community from Kerala who is settled with her family in the capital city of Delhi. As soon as her sister is married, her parents start looking for a match.
At her office, she falls in love with a Hindu guy, but that match does not enjoy the blessings of her family and friends and hence her parents continue their search for the perfect Syro Malabar Roman Catholic guy.
After seeing a couple of matches, a guy is agreed upon and soon the process of getting married takes off.
The process like most arranged marriages in India is an emotionally tiring and rather a painful one, at the end of which both sides are left exhausted and weary.
The best part about Or Forever Hold Your Peace was its brevity. All of 97 pages it was a pleasure reading it unperturbed in a single go. The plot and the storyline were a bit too simple for my taste.
In this book, everybody has a story to tell and most stories are usually simple ones, but if somehow that story can be moulded in a way which appeals to the readers then half the job can be considered as done.
This book lacked a little lustre in terms of the plot. On the other hand, what was lacking in the plot was more than compensated by the clarity of thought and delivery.
As a new author, it is very easy to lose focus and get diverted. The creativity is untamed and thoughts and ideas keep bouncing off and it thus becomes very easy to lose track of the original theme and go haywire.
This, however, was not the case with Or Forever Hold Your Peace. All chapters were well-conceived, planned and synchronized. I also liked the mentions of various traditions and customs of the protagonist’s community.
Such things for me are a delight to read, not to mention the bonus of adding to one’s knowledge bank.
The characters were well developed but there was definitely some more scope for improvement.
I think the romance angle between Aryan and the protagonist could have been developed further to give the readers just the slight hint of romance which they so much crave for.
The ending, though predictable, was well in line with the plot and the closing line was a welcome surprise with a happy ending kind of note.
Overall, Or Forever Hold Your Peace is worth the money and time and I, therefore, recommend it to all my readers. I will also keenly look forward to other works from the author to see her writing mature and become even more beautiful by the day.