Book Reviews

Book Review: Monsoon Summer

Monsoon Summer: A NovelKit is a young nurse with very little experience who escapes to a family friend’s farm/boarding house for a rest after the war. Kit get’s involved in a charity that sends midwives and supplies to South India. While she is helping set up the charity Kit meets Anto, an Indian just finishing his medical training and getting ready to go home.

Anto and Kit fall madly in love much to Kit’s mother’s dismay. Kit chooses to leave everything that she knows in England and start a new life with Anto in India. Only, India is not the fairytale that she thought it would be. She finds herself in the middle of a large traditional Indian family as she struggles to fit into this new land and new family.

My thoughts:

You know the saying “Too many cooks spoil the soup?” Well, the same can be said for perspectives in a book. For the first several chapters we have the story told in the first person perspective from Kit’s point of view. Then all of a sudden with no warning at all we get Anto’s perspective…in the third person. Initially, it’s jarring but then I got used to it. Then out of the blue, we get a chapter from Anto’s mother’s perspective (and then she proceeds to pop in periodically)

I don’t feel like the perspective changes were beneficial to the characters. We got a deep sense of what Kit was feeling and what she was going through but it felt like we barely scratched the surface with Anto. Which was disappointing because in the first half of the book I fell for Anto right along with Kit. However, because I couldn’t see what was going on inside of him I grew to dislike him.

Since Kit was in the first person we get a lopsided narrative. It was like I was listening to a friend complain about her husband without hearing her husband’s side of the story.

I am disappointed because I loved the premise of the book and I love Gregson’s writing style. I also liked that she ventured beyond the happily ever after to show the harsh realities of life in a foreign country. It’s just that there was too much going on in the story to allow the reader to really delve deeply into the characters. I feel like the characters could have told us so much more.

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