cover image The Bollywood Bride

The Bollywood Bride

Sonali Dev. Kensington, $15 trade paper (352p) ISBN 978-1-61773-015-3

Dev (A Bollywood Affair) replaces true connection with overdone drama in this middling contemporary romance. Bollywood star Ria, who lives and works in Mumbai, returns to Chicago for the first time in 10 years for her cousin’s wedding. There she meets Vikram, with whom she was in a serious relationship as an adolescent, and the two of them have to deal with the brutal way Ria broke up with him at the start of her film career. Ria had reasons beyond the attractions of stardom to consider herself ineligible for a relationship, and those reasons intrude between the two as they rekindle their romance. The cultural details of Mumbai and of Chicago’s Indian immigrant community are well-handled, and the book’s attitude toward mental illness is an interesting cross between Indian and American social norms. But a lack of real communication between the lovers renders the plot unbelievable, and it never acquires any emotional weight. (Sept.)