Read Of Marriageable Age by Sharon Maas Online


A spellbinding story of forbidden love. Three continents, three decades, three very disparate lives:Savitri, intuitive and charismatic, grows up among the servants of a pre-war English household in Madras. But the traditional customs of her Brahmin family clash against English upper-class prejudice, threatening her love for the privileged son of the house.Nataraj, raised aA spellbinding story of forbidden love. Three continents, three decades, three very disparate lives:Savitri, intuitive and charismatic, grows up among the servants of a pre-war English household in Madras. But the traditional customs of her Brahmin family clash against English upper-class prejudice, threatening her love for the privileged son of the house.Nataraj, raised as the son of an idealistic doctor in rural South India, finds life in London heady, with girls and grass easily available… until he is summoned back home to face raw reality.Saroj, her fire hidden by outward reserve, comes of age in Guyana, South America. When her strict, orthodox Hindu father goes one step too far she finally rebels against him... and even against her gentle, apparently docile Ma.But Ma harbours a deep secret… one that binds these three so disparate lives and hurtles them towards a truth that could destroy their world....

Title : Of Marriageable Age
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781909490239
Format Type : ebook
Number of Pages : 548 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Of Marriageable Age Reviews

  • Renita D'Silva
    2018-11-04 01:05

    There are books that you fall in love with, books you enjoy so much that you do not want them to end. Books that capture your imagination and do not let go long after the last page, so that, even though you are an avid reader, you do not want to open another book because no other will match the beauty, the magnificence of the one you've just finished. Books whose characters you do not want to part with, just yet. Sharon Maas’s 'Of Marriageable Age' is one such book. Spanning three continents and five decades, this is a colorful tapestry woven with words, the descriptions so breath-taking that they create an instant sense of place. Maas’s mastery over language is such that we experience each event along with the characters. I reveled in the joy and bustle of Stabroek Market, Guiana, with Saroj and her mother. I roamed the grounds of Fairwinds, India, with Savitri. I despaired of the flood that almost washed away his village in Madras with Nat. I felt for Savitri, riled against the constraints imposed by a dictatorial father along with Saroj and I enjoyed life with Nat. Three stories, three lives coming together in a spectacular crescendo, this book is an epic of vast scope. A must-read.

  • Tania
    2018-11-02 19:31

    I really enjoyed most of this book, specifically the fact that it had three different narrators living in different places and times. I loved the vivid descriptions of India, and it felt like I was experiencing it first hand, especially in Nat and Sav's stories. Unfortunately I thought the ending included too much drama, and too many twists. The Story: Of Marriageable Age is the story of three different characters: Savitri, a servant girl growing up in British-ruled India; Nataraj, the son of a small-town doctor in South India; Saroj, a headstrong girl growing up in Guyana.

  • Jae
    2018-10-30 01:10

    What a wonderful book! By the time I'd reached the last few pages I was reading so slowly because I didn't want it to end. It's a beautiful, evocative book that interweaves the stories of different lives over time and continents, with such memorable characters, it's hard to believe that this is a debut novel. One for my favourites list, and I'm definitely planning to read more by this author.

  • Marianne
    2018-11-12 22:19

    Of Marriageable Age is the first novel by Sharon Maas and tells the stories of Nat, Saroj and Savitri. The stories are set in British Guiana and England and India, in time periods ranging from the 1920s to the 1960s, and the lives of these three characters are inextricably linked, but the mystery of exactly how only becomes clear as the stories progress. Maas uses this enchanting love story to explore subjects like Indians living abroad, arranged marriages, prejudice, cultural boundaries, war and poverty. There is laughter, tears and heartache in this novel, the characters are wonderfully complex and there is a brilliant twist in the plot that will take the reader by surprise unless they are paying attention to the smallest details. This is the first novel I have read that is set in Guiana, and I found that aspect very interesting. This novel was a joy to read.

  • Booknblues
    2018-10-21 00:16

    When speaking of the book Of Marriageable Age by Sharon Maas it is difficult not to use such words as tapestry, intricate and woven. Each thread of the story seems to be woven in such a way as to create an intricate tapestry which presents a delicate picture of the lives of the characters in this book. It is true that author Sharon Maas believes that there exists a grand scheme to our lives and that if we are sensitive to, in her words "the magnetism" we will indeed benefit. This belief is aptly demonstrated in the book.The setting for the book is on three continents, India in Asia, Guyana in South America and Britain in Europe and the time span is from the 1920's through the 1960's. The main characters are tied to each other in intricate and mysterious ways. The older generation who grew up in India, are David, an English boy and Savitri, daughter of his servants and the younger generation, Saroj a young girl of Indian descent growing up in Guyana and Nat, an Indian orphan. For those of us who came of age in the 1960's in the United States it is interesting to see that people of other countries and cultures were dealing with similar issues at that time. For Saroj, a young woman from Guyana and Nat, a young man from Indian the issues of rebellion and independence from the older generation were part of their struggle for maturity.Saroj grows to adulthood nurturing a hatred for her father who she feels is all things evil and who wants to control her and subjugate her. When she is a young teenager he arranges a marriage for her, which she desperately fights against. Her dream is to become educated in England and to achieve that dream she feels she must wage a successful battle against her father.I would encourage readers to follow Saroj, Savitri, David and Nat in their journey through life to see what composite picture is finally revealed as their lives interweave.

  • Lauren
    2018-11-03 22:09

    My favorite. It's amazing. I bought it abroad and haven't seen it in the states, so it's not too popular yet but absolutely worth getting from Amazon. A great read!

  • Lakshu
    2018-11-07 21:09

    This is the first book I've read in a while and I was more than satisfied to begin with this particular novel. "Of Marriageable Age" spins a story about three people - Savitri, Saroj and Nat - who are connected very intricately. It is about their journey from young and innocent children to the adults that they mature into. I realise that from the storyline, it may appear to be quite dull and not so original - undoubtedly, this is not the case. From the first page to the last, Sharon Maas had me swimming in the depth of the characters. I was near tears when moments of sadness came to be, and I especially love the very relatable character of Saroj. Her very realistic portrayal had me frustrated and disheartened; however, it was truly her development that made the novel a stand-out piece. The author leaves no stones unturned in justifying all the actions and all the decisions made by the three stars of the book. Language was another praiseworthy feature of the book. I felt I was seeing exactly what was being described and that is something I have trouble in many other books. The descriptive language is never ending and does not fail to connect the reader to what is being narrated. Overall, I enjoyed reading it tremendously. The last quarter of the book had me flipping pages nonstop and a little saddened when it was finished. The book is a journey where one can definitely learn quite a lot from its pages.

  • Jo Haff
    2018-10-28 18:07

    Souvent, il ne faut pas beaucoup pour adhérer à la prose d'un écrivain. Il suffit d'un livre qu'on n'a pas pu poser avant de l'avoir terminé, et l'univers de cet auteur est indéniablement ancré en nous. C'est le cas de Sharon Maas. Je me sens proche de Maas, par ses origines multiples, son côté vadrouilleur, sa littérature métissée... J’ai lu « Of marriageable age » de Sharon Maas avec soif. Ce sont trois histoires, trois époques et contextes différents. Une même contrainte : aussi jeunes soient-ils, ils sont tous en âge de se marier !Voilà un roman comme je les aime, des personnages qui se croisent, qui se haïssent, qui s’aiment, qui partent… c’est un constant changement, comme dans ma vie. Et une belle histoire n’a pas besoin d’avoir un happy end.

  • Carinya Kappler
    2018-11-04 23:20

    This first novel of author Sharon Maas is an extremely moving account of lives moulded, redirected and destroyed by prejudice, cultural boundaries, war and poverty. I found the over-riding theme to be one of forgiveness, tolerance and a belief that it is never too late for change.Her characters in this novel span 2 generations and a multitude of religions, beliefs and customs set in South America, Singapore and England. I found the author’s sympathetic approach to the predicament of each character made the story more believable, enjoyable and poignant.This is a book I could recommend to any age group; beautifully written, interesting and thought provoking.Carinya

  • Margot
    2018-11-08 18:03

    This book made me crazy. I loved loved loved the first 400 pages. Interesting characters, compelling story. then for some unknown reason, Maas shifts the book into a complicated, yet totally predictable, over written soap opera. I could not wait wait to be done with it. My favorite stories of all are Indian sagas and this one left me so frustrated. It was so well researched-- it could have been so wonderful!!!! 2.5

  • Pam
    2018-11-05 19:07

    TITLE/AUTHOR: OF MARRIAGEABLE AGE by Sharon MaasRATING: 4.5/B+GENRE/PUB DATE/# OF PGS: Fiction, 1999, 528 pgsCHARACTERS: Savitri, Saroj, NatTIME/PLACE: 1950-1970's, India, British Guyana, London/UKCOMMENTS: Chapters through each voice alternate -- a bit tedious in the beginning to have so many starts & stops. It isn't until almost 300 pgs where the characters allare linked and then the story flies. Arranged marriagesin the Indian culture both in India & abroad.

  • Shree
    2018-11-09 20:21

    Note : This Review has been published in my blog Book and InkA story set in Madras, Guyana and London in the British era – enticing for a reader like me. The publishers decided to surprise me this time by sending across this book without a mail and I’m extremely glad they did. It’s a beautiful book which I would have purchased as soon as it was published had I known about it earlier. This book is one of the most soulful books that I have read in recent times. With eloquent writing, this book turned out to be an absolute pleasure to read.The story, set across three locations is about three generations of women and men who are bound together by one woman who is the actual protagonist of the story. Savitri is that woman who binds all the threads of this story. Writing anything more than this about the story line would actually qualify as a spoiler as all the characters eventually point to one character – Savitri in one or the other way. There are so many surprising twists and turns in the book that elaborating the storyline simply results in spoilers.In the age where writing is more and more becoming like instant coffee – tasteless and bland, this book seemed to a welcome change. With vivid description and extraordinary characterization, the book bewitched me from start. With exemplary writing, the story was just too perfect. Though one character – Savitiri was the show stealer, the writer managed to give equal importance to all the other characters. In fact, she managed to show all shades for all the characters which I know is an extremely difficult job. Slow character building is tricky and there is there is a big room for the story turning into a deadbeat one. Obviously, this writer mastered the art of slow and gradual character building. In spite of the having a lot of characters, multiple time lines and geographical boundaries, the transition between all that was smooth and effortless. A well written story that was deeply moving!MY SAY: Phenomenal writing, Magnetic story line. Nothing short of true literary beauty. RATING:PLOT : 4 /5NARRATION: 5/5CHARACTERISATION: 5/5 BOREDOM QUOTIENT: 1/5 (Lower the better)OVERALL RATING: 5/5

  • Rama Ramaswamy
    2018-10-21 20:30

    Sharon Maas's debut book is a saga... a lengthy novel, written beautifully interweaving 3 seemingly unattached stories into one by the end. And for once, there was no telling till almost the end what it is that connected them all together. For this, I credit the author; though she has waxed eloquent prose in the book wherever she could, I didn't really find myself flipping pages to get away to the next event in the narrative. This is also the first book that I've come across that is set in Guyana; I never knew South America had/has a decent Indian presence. I've also not read an Indian book set in Madras; everyone just obsesses with Bombay. I loved reading the book and found myself going back to it every little chance I got. I also appreciate how the author has kept every character headstrong; each is his or her own person with their own individualistic traits and values. The book is lengthy, it takes a while to get the story going in the beginning. But once you are hooked, it is an easy read. The end, when it comes, comes together with too many twists, quickly one after the other, like a typical B- Grade potboiler. Also, how can one not put in some quintessential Indian drama - healing golden touch hands, conversing with animals and bowing down to king cobras, the poverty and the filth - you just can't make a story about India without all these, can you? Having said that, Ms Maas has not overdone it; she doesn't fill you with a sense of distaste - she almost makes it feel like a fairy tale narrative when she tells us how little Savitri heals with her touch and talks with the peacock and bows her head down to the king cobra with reverence. Because even with all this, Savitri towers above the rest, making her mark as the strongest character in the book. Recommended read.

  • penelopewanders
    2018-11-08 22:18

    Here as a ring.At first I was a bit irritated by the flipping back and forth chronologically and might have to take some time to ponder over why Maas chose the order she did... This being said, after a while I knew who the various characters were and was happy to plunge back into their separate narratives, guessing soon enough that they would somehow merge. Saroj's intransigency was grating, but in some ways also authentic, I think, and not all that unusual - just not so pleasant. Very good read.

  • Peter
    2018-11-02 02:13

    Enjoyed very much this novel detailing a different culture and real people. The author was born in Belize has lived in London and India. Definitely not told from the white man's point of view. I think many people can enjoy this book. romantic in places, surprising and good character development. Coul do with a bit more editing. I give it it 5 stars but relly it should be 41/2 because it does need a bit of concision in places.

  • Beth
    2018-11-19 22:26

    I like this book so far except that there is too much idealization of characters. All the Indian girls are supple and liquid-eyed and mysterious. I kind of like the way the stories are told separately yet clearly are intertwined--some characters are obviously in other people's stories, a lot older. I always get drawn into stories about India having lived there. Partly it's all the frangipani trees and hibiscus and references to food I love :)

  • Jean
    2018-11-16 22:05

    I LOVED this book...I was lucky enough to have chosen to read this book while I was traveling in India for a family wedding. The colors and images of this book came alive for me. I did NOT want to have this book end. I don't think this book was "perfectly" written, but it was easy to overlook the grammatical errors and sentence structure concerns as I became lost in this "epic" story.I highly recommend.

  • Cherry-Ann Carew
    2018-10-24 20:22

    This was a brilliant read. The author and I share similar background experiences given that we were born in South America and moved to London, England at an early age. As such, I was able to relate to many areas, especially the cultural theme. I love her style of writing and how she painted the characters and their experiences.

  • Ebony Taylor
    2018-10-24 23:23

    I loved the way Maas weaved the stories together, leaving hints and clues along the way for the reader to pick up and wonder if there is a connection. Beautifully written, I could almost smell India and Guyana and London, I grew to know and love every single character, there was not one moment when a characters actions surprised me. Flawless, seamless, moving.

  • Nathalie Okeefe
    2018-11-03 19:07

    Beautiful story, one of my favorite book of all time !

  • Debra
    2018-11-09 22:23

    The one book I refer to as carrying around like a teddy bear after reading over several times.

  • Aurora
    2018-10-25 20:03

  • Sonia Thomas
    2018-10-27 02:17

    It's a fascinating book..was hooked on to it till the end...

  • Natalia
    2018-10-31 01:16

    Not sure I really liked the ending but it's a great Guyanese saga.

  • Shapamjit Bariar
    2018-11-09 19:19

    It started off rather draggy but it slowly unfolded as d characters came to life. Just when i thought that the mystery and grief was over there was yet another mystery awaiting.

  • Rykae
    2018-10-29 22:14

    Wonderful story, with of course a wonderful ending! It only took one week to get through all 525 pages!

  • Ross Dias
    2018-11-06 01:26

    Riveting tale that keeps you hoping for a happy ending, and a happy ending it provides! A must-read for everyone.

  • Emma Britton
    2018-10-22 02:12

    Great, different read. Really enjoyed it

  • Melanie Page
    2018-11-19 20:11

    Of Marriageable Age is a saga (546 pages) by Guyanese author Sharon Maas. The book was originally published by Harper Collins in 2000, but Maas has re-released it through Bookoutre. The description of this book alone intimidated me, and sagas are not my usual read. Of Marriageable Age follows three narratives (Savitri’s, Nataraj’s, and Sarojini’s) that start in three different decades (1920s, 1940s, 1960s) on three continents (India, British Guyana, England). Even the names and locations intimidated me, as I was worried about cultural and historical information and pronunciation being a hinderance, which caused me to put off reading Of Marriageable Age for a while.This saga is actually quite easy to follow. The author makes sure to remind readers often enough of who’s who. If I wasn’t sure of a location, a simple Google search helped me out. In terms of remembering the decades, it’s not really that important. One character’s story, Savitri’s, is set in the 1920s, which is the outlier and easy to remember. By page 130 I was aware of how the three characters were related. But, the exciting part was seeing how it unfolded. There are also Tamil words used, like amma and appa, which were easy enough to figure out. Other words, such as lungi, sambar, and tinnai were not super clear, though I did get the idea: pants, food, sleeping spot. I was dismayed to find a glossary at the end of the book–dismayed because it was too late for me to use it. Why publishers never alert readers to the fact that there is a glossary, especially e-reader editions that don’t make it easy to flip through the whole book before reading, is beyond me.The story mostly focuses on the Indian tradition of fathers being responsible for marrying off their daughters to suitable families. Oftentimes, little children are paired up, “officially” engaged when they are about 13, and then married at 14. Brides come from all over the place. Sarojini’s mother was “imported from India.” Her bridegroom, Deodat, who lives in British Guyana, is an “orthodox Brahmin” who “refused to take a wife born and bred in BG [British Guyana]. In such a woman traditions were diluted, culture was dying….He was appalled at the gradual disintegration of Hindu traditions, and the spineless capitulation of Indians to the secular spirit which ruled the colony.” While Of Marriageable Age hits on many important topics, whether or not girls can choose their husbands and whether or not Indians can marry non-Indians is the big theme.Maas excels at yo-yoing the reader. At times, I wanted to burn this book for how Maas made me feel. I was faced with difficult moments that made me question what I would be okay with accepting. I hated Maas for making me do such personal questioning. Truly, it says a lot for an author to get the reader so involved and thinking beyond myself and my world. Then, when all seemed to be horrible, a breath of fresh air would rescue me and take the decision out of my hands, for which I was grateful. Some of the heavier topics included: rape, incest, arranged marriages, politics, racism, sexual liberation, and magical realism.Yes, magical realism. Maas conflates idealized Indians with magical realism, which made me more willing to accept some of what might otherwise be sappy perfection. For instance, you’ll find this sort of thing often: “the dark, deep, all-knowing, all-seeing pools of his eyes.” Every time eyes were called “pools” I wanted to snicker. But, Maas gives some of her characters magical abilities, like this:“Savitri once believed that everyone could talk to plants and birds and animals, that everyone knew their language. When she was very small, people had been alarmed by her silences….It was only when she discovered that humans didn’t understand silence that she began to use words, and then they came out in perfectly formed sentences, in two languages, and people were astonished. Only the other beings, the plants, birds, and animals, understood silence. People, she knew now, lived wrapped in thought-bodies, which was why they could not understand silence. The thought-bodies got in the way. They were like thick black clouds through which the purity of silence could not enter, and they kept people captive and dulled. Sometimes there were gaps in the thought-bodies.”And so, it feels a little more genuine to me that the characters with the ability to hear voices and animals, to heal or bring good fortune, should have deep “pool” eyes (they are magical, after all), and so I forgave the otherwise cliched descriptions.Although I understood how the three character’s lives were linked, truly I did not fully know. Typically, Maas rotates the stories in a predictable way: Nataraj, Saroj, Savitri, each with their own chapter, and then repeat. Later in the book something tragic happens at the end of one of Savitri’s chapters, so I kept reading to get back to her story and find out what happened. Instead, Maas danced away from the foreboding plot, making the chapters play Nat and Saroj and Nat and Saroj and back and forth between THOSE two! I had to keep reading to know what happened! Maas expertly leaves readers dangling above the plot line they most want.Whenever I thought I knew how the saga would end, even when I didn’t want it to end the way I predicted, I often found that I was wrong and there was more to know. Although the ending of the book is wrapped too neatly, is a bit too eager, it is Maas’s ability to make the reader feel right and then incorrect that kept me reading way past my bedtime. I highly recommend this Of Marriageable Age.This review was originally published at Grab the Lapels.

  • Brian
    2018-10-29 18:20

    An interesting story. I liked the writing style and description of settings. The love story was beautiful and gave hope. I didn't find it 'spellbinding' as the marketing insisted it would be, but enjoyable to read. If we believe the publishing companies, every book is a work of literary art, spellbinding and the reader will never be able to put it down. This book didn't cause me insomnia, but I looked forward to picking up where I left off.