Library Ed. BBC Audiobooks America/ BBC Radio 2003
CS ISBN 0563496657 $39.95 Four cassettes
CD ISBN 0563496665 $59.95 Five CDs
An Indian pop tune swings, voices chatter around us. As we mingle with the party crowd, we hear Mrs. Mehra say, "You, too, will marry a boy I choose." "Not now, Ma," her daughter Lata responds. "It's Savita's wedding!" The cheery music lifts again to drown out the rest of the conversation, but we're hooked. This full-cast production spirits us away to India in the 1950s, where Mrs. Mehra's amusing and painful attempt to find "a suitable boy" for her university student daughter, Lata, provides a framework for discussing India's changing society. Seth explores the intricacies of class structure, the divide between Muslim and Hindu, the role of women (modern, traditional, and prostitute), all while keeping us on tenterhooks about Lata's future. Think Angela Thirkell meets Rohinton Mistry. The acting is perfect; the production sounds that round out every scene are imagination-inducing. In short, a wonderful listening experience. A.C.S.
(c) AudioFile 2004, Portland, Maine [Published: FEB/ MAR 04]