Book Review:: ‘The Runaway Bridegroom’ by Sundari Venkatraman

Book review


Chanda Maheshwari’s family is shaken when her thirteen-year-old bridegroom Veerendra runs away immediately after the wedding. The eight-year-old child doesn’t even understand the impact on her life. Unable to face their neighbours and friends, the Maheshwaris move from their village to Jaipur and begin a new life in the city.

Fourteen years later, Chanda is studying in a Delhi College. She takes up a temporary job at RS Software Pvt. Ltd. and falls head-over-heels for the boss of the operation. But what about Ranveer Singh? Is he interested in her?

Ranveer’s secretary Shikha is desperate to make him fall for her. All she wants is life-long security with a rich man. But it’s nerd Abhimanyu who keeps getting in the way. Abhi is Ranveer’s second-in-command and Shikha isn’t keen on him as she’s eyeing the main chance.

When Ranveer appears to show interest in Chanda, she’s faced with a new problem. Astrologer Vidyasagar insists that she would get back with her husband Veerendra. Does anyone want to know what she wants?

Chanda feels torn between the man she has fallen for and the family values that have been instilled in her. Will she ever find happiness?

My Review:
The Runaway Bridegroom catches your attention immediately with a stimulating title and fantastic cover.

It is a sweet, innocent love story which touches one of the malaises of Indian culture, i.e child marriage. Here I would like to highlight that the book doesn’t preach the right or wrong of the custom, but has created an interesting conflict and dilemma between the two protagonists, keeping us engrossed till the end. The story revolves around strong traditional and moral values inculcated in not only lead pair, but all the characters in their families.

The female lead, Chanda Maheshwari, is beautiful, demure yet career oriented girl, and even after so many years feels shackled to the non-existent bond of few hours of marriage. So much so that even after shifting to the city and attaining good education, she doesn’t entertain any romantic notions about her future. But her resolve melts as she gets acquainted to Ranveer, the handsome hottie.

Ranveer Singh, a successful CEO of an IT company is portrayed as conflicted about his past as Chanda and is a go-getter. He is instantly smitten with pretty and quiet Chanda and couldn’t stay away from her. But their pasts keep haunting them.

Coming to the secondary characters, I loved the conflict and the zing added by Shikha, the ambitious husband-hunter, working with Ranveer and Abhimanyu his loyal second in command. Shikha’s character is life-like, a part and parcel of the corporate world and Abhimanyu the silent, down-to-earth was perfect for Shikha. Add to that an astrologer and a private detective, which will keep a reader glued to the book till the end.

Sundari Venkatraman has created another entertaining story with a great plot arc.

A light and breezy read.

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