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Sunday, February 8, 2009

Family Planning by Karan Mahajan~★

Author: Karan Mahajan
Title: Family Planning: A Novel
Release Date: November 18th, 2008
Publisher: Harper Perennial
Genre: Fiction

Book Jacket: "Rakesh Ahuja, a Government Minister in New Delhi, is beset
by problems: thirteen children and another on the way; a wife who mourns the loss of her favorite TV star; and a teenaged son with some really strong opinions about family planning.
To make matters worse, looming over this comical farrago are secrets---both personal and political---that threaten to push the Ahuja household into disasterous turmoil. Following father and son as they blunder their way across the troubled landscape of New Delhi, Karan Mahajan brilliantly captures the frenetic pace of India's capital city to create a searing portrait of modern family life."

Taryn's Review: After reading the book, I went to Amazon.com to see if I was the only person who hated the book. Turns out only 9 people had rated it when I checked and all of them loved it, so I hate to say I didn't, and even worse that I hated it, but it's true.I will fully admit that perhaps the book went over my head. One day I might read it again to double check myself! I always get nervous when I don't like something everyone else does!

Rakesh Ahuja made mistakes and that is crux of the book. He married a woman to spite his parents after the death of his first wife, he didn't tell his oldest son that the boy's biological mother died or that he was born in the U.S., he treated his current wife like she was a stranger except when he wants sex, and he quit his government job for the ump-teenth time, but this time, his resignation was permanent. Quite frankly, I just couldn't get into caring about any of this.

Arjun was Rakesh's oldest son and for some reason, his father suddenly found it to be imperative to tell his son that the woman he has loved as his mother all along is not his birth mother. Arjun digested the information and viewed himself as an outsider, and he even embellished the story of being a stepchild to gain sympathy from the girl he liked.

All in all, I'll pass and wish I hadn't spent an afternoon on the book. I don't know if I am not ready for his level of writing, if the message was lost on me, or what, but it will be a while before I try again. 

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