Love Comes Later

Mohanalakshmi Rajakumar
Love Comes Later
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Publisher
Amazon
Release Date
July 2012
Genre
Contemporary Romance

SUMMARY
Shortlisted for the New Talent Award by the Festival of Romance, this contemporary tale about the conflict between love and honor, duty and passion, will keep you turning pages until the very end.

Hind is granted a temporary reprieve from her impending marriage to Abdulla, her cousin. Little does anyone suspect that the presence of Sangita, her Indian roommate, may shake a carefully constructed future. Torn between loyalties to Hind and a growing attraction to Abdulla, Sangita must choose between friendship and a burgeoning love.

A modern quest for the right to pursue love and happiness, even when it comes in an unconventional package, LOVE COMES LATER explores similarities between the South Asian and Arab cultures while exposing how cultural expectations affect both men and women. Identities are tested and boundaries questioned against the shifting backdrops of Doha, Qatar and London, England.

Book Review by JCCeleste (reviewer)
Jul 29, 2013   [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
108 people found the following review helpful
The cost of belonging to a community is that sometimes your life is not your own--this becomes evident to widower Abdulla who is manhandled into the marriage of his cousin not three years after the death of his last arranged-wife/cousin (and their unborn, of-unknown-gender child). To ask Abdulla to begin again with another cousin (hence, someone who will always remind him of what he lost) seems cruel, but it puts Abdulla on the road to discovering love that he never expected could be his.

This was a book I almost didn't read, because I saw the extensive glossary the author provided, and the proliferate references to a culture I know very little of (Muslim) would have required me to use the Go To feature on my Kindle every few minutes to check out the glossary, return to reading, only to be interrupted again. LOVE COMES LATER is only available as an e-book, and I struggled through the first few pages of the prologue.

But then the visceral language and the perspective of Abdulla, our protagonist, hooked me. By the end of the prologue I was engaged, only to be thrown off by the drastic change in the first chapter as it changed tense, introduced me to numerous family members I couldn't keep track of, and peppered the pages with special terms, so my reading was constantly interrupted.

I debated quitting the book again, but by now I cared for Abdulla and I wanted to know how his story ended. (Incidentally, the story has an interesting ending, which felt almost abrupt but had a wonderful openness to it, and which was ultimately satisfying.)

Other issues I had were erratic point-of-view changes, tense shifts between present, past and future that created a fascinating cadence (once I got into the rhythm, though the editor in me had to be permanently parked because it was itching to break out a red pen and circle some passages as "too obvious"), and as a whole, I would consider LOVE COMES LATER contemporary fiction, with romantic and literary elements.

Despite these "flaws", I enjoyed LOVE COMES LATER. It is a fascinating look into a world away from my own, yet grounded in universal concepts that I can connect with on a visceral level. It has its own humor and poignancy, and I was drawn to learn more about the Indian (from India) and Muslim cultures portrayed in the book. The interchanging points of view give a broad perspective on the subject of arranged marriages, the importance of family and honor, and what we can tender ourselves to in the name of tradition.

There are different kinds of love that come later, beyond the one we would anticipate from the title, and I became invested in the exploration of the love of friendship, duty, family, and of that love between two people coming to learn about each other in intimate and sometimes adventurous ways.

Once I got into the story and came to appreciate its sprawling, multicultural and tapestry-esque grace, it was hard to put it down. But it's not for everyone; I recommend reading the free sample that is available through Amazon, so one can determine if they are connected enough to the characters to proceed.
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