Interesting but the ending doesn't feel satisfying.
If you enjoy chick lit with an international flair you won’t be disappointed with Mukherjee’s “Miss New India”. Anjali (Angie) Bose, a lovely green-eyed beauty, has just graduated from an English-language college in her small Indian town (Gauripur) a disastrous engagement encounter forces Angie to flee from her backwater village and head out to a bustling Call Centre city (Bangalore). Her parents and sister have disowned her, but thanks to the generosity of her English teacher, Peter Champion, she has some cash and contacts set up for lodgings and a job. Angie’s transformation from naïve village beauty to sophisticated city diva exposes her to a variety of people who betray her or are her benefactors. An interesting expose on the changing social fabric of India’s booming cities.
This is not a story about a traditional Indian girl. Anjali and her friends in the call centres of Bangalore are thoroughly modern and westernized. The book is fast-paced and the characters are well-drawn and interesting. Don't expect realism! Anjali is India's answer to Sister Carrie -- her rise from anonymity to hobnobbing with the elite has nothing to do with hard work and determination. Anjali's assets are an acceptable English accent, a brilliant smile, and an uncanny ability to magnetize others. It's a great summer read.
"Bharati Mukherjee’s territory is cultural shock. Born in Calcutta, she has been chronicling the traumas of displacement for more than four decades. She is a marvellously accomplished writer, and her new novel represents not only a new departure but also the latest instalment in a substantial and satisfying body of work. For readers new to Mukherjee’s fiction, this is a rich vein to mine."
Globe and Mail June 17 2011
A traditional Indian girl leaves her backwater village for the bright lights of big-city Bangalore.
Mukherjee captures "the tension between old and new, traditional and postmodern, obligation to family and to self--all that is India today, and the pace at which it is happening. Two of the book's mantras are: "Nothing in the world is as it seems--it's all light and angles" and "We're all Photoshopped." Believe it, as you sign on for the ride."-- Valerie Ryan
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