Merlin Franco’s debut book, A Dowryless Wedding, has been impressing the readers since the day it was launched. Not only readers, critics and serious fiction readers have also praised the book for its vividity and a kind of newness that it brings with itself. Based on fictional events, the culture and traditions are kept very near to the truth as well as the problems have been reflecting the reality only. Merlin’s sense of humour certainly gets better of the gloomy seriousness that the narrative keeps itself covered with. In short, A Dowryless Wedding has certainly impressed me a lot! I will be writing a detailed review based on my reading of the book today.
It moves fast. Franklin is chased for marriage by many people as soon as he completes his MA and gets the job. He gives in. He meets Nisha at her home and they start talking and then liking each other. Marriage happens. The novel begins.
Theme is certainly the issues related to marriage – pre and post. Problems that the society creates before marriage and the problems that mutual misunderstanding creates after marriage have been discussed in a sarcastic manner. The idea of a marriage being dowryless is only mocked at from a little distance. Caste, creed, class, and all other things have been lampooned in the novel by Merlin.
Feature 1 – Amusing:
A Dowryless Wedding is certainly a very amusing piece of fiction which will keep the readers engaged as well as entertained all along. You cannot simply turn pages because the author has taken a very good care of his details. The way he has tried to make a serious issue into something to laugh at is really impressive and should be acknowledged.
Feature 2 – Indian:
This novel is out and out an Indian because the author did not forget to make his narrative a localised one. The words used in the novel remind you of the South Indian set-up and that’s it. Other things which make it Indian are commission agents in the marriages, a heavy wedding, rituals and functions associated with marriage, and something which only Indians enjoy a lot – useless politics.
Should you be reading it?
Of course! Please read this novel and it will make you realise that debuts are made like this as well! I am certainly impressed by the qualities of the author and his thinking. Merlin Franco is not a seasonal debutant with one-novel ambition… his words reflect his vision and I am sure to see more satirical fiction writing from him sooner.
Review by Abhishek for Featured Books