Marriage of a Thousand Lies is about a woman whose name is Lucky. This book offers a diverse cast of characters – we are introduced to a Sri Lankan family who live in the United States and our main focus is on Lucky and her struggles with being a closeted gay woman. Lucky is in a marriage with Kris who also happens to be gay. They both lead separate love lives outside their marriage which is perfect for them. Lucky is brought back to her old life when her grandmother has an incident – she is set to help out her mother so she goes back to her family home with the intention of taking care of her injured grandmother. You know how in every movie something unexpected happens to a person who comes back home well… Lucky sees her old flame Nisha and soon learns that she is about to get married to a man she doesn’t know or love. Their past brings them back to being more than friends once again and then questions arise: Will they be able to be together despite Nisha’s arranged marriage? Will their relationship succeed? Is Lucky willing to leave her strict life for the sake of love? The answers to all of these questions lie in this book.
There are many strengths in this book the main one being: the great representation of what it’s like to be different in a community that doesn’t accept and judges those who are. The second one is the romance part of the novel: we don’t see a typical male/female white person couple but a more diverse one – and I really appreciate that because I rarely read these kinds of books even though I try to include some of them once in a while. The idea of someone being on the edge between wanting to be with a person they desire but at the same time having to maintain a good relationship with their parents is definitely something that a lot of people (who are lgbtq+) will understand. This is why these kinds of books are necessary in today’s world – they tell people that they are not alone. This book is sad in its way but that doesn’t diminish the value of this book. My main concern was the writing in this novel – I felt like the chapters ended abruptly and it changed quickly from one scene to the other. But this shouldn’t discourage you from reading this book or avoiding it because of my problem with it.
If you’re looking for a diverse read with a great representation then this is the book for you.
I would like to thank Edelweiss and the publisher (Soho Press) for allowing me to read this book in exchange for an honest review.
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SJ Sindu was born in Sri Lanka and raised in Massachusetts. Her hybrid fiction and nonfiction chapbook, I Once Met You But You Were Dead, won the 2016 Turnbuckle Chapbook Contest and was published by Split Lip Press. She was a 2013 Lambda Literary Fellow and holds a PhD in Creative Writing from Florida State University. She teaches Creative Writing at Ringling College of Art and Design. Marriage of a Thousand Lies is her first novel.