The Mango Season
A lushly written novel set in India at the height of the mango season–in which a young woman must decide to follow her heart or tradition.
Priya Rao left India when she was twenty to study in the U.S., and she’s never been back. Now, seven years later, she has to return and give her family the news: she’s engaged to Nick Collins, a kind, loving American man. It’s going to break their hearts.
Returning to India is an overwhelming experience for Priya. When she was growing up, summer was all about mangoes—ripe, sweet mangoes, redolent with juices that dripped down your mouth, hands, and neck. But after years away, she sweats as if she’s never been through an Indian summer before.
But Priya’s relatives remain the same. Her mother and father insist that it’s time they arranged her marriage to a “nice Indian boy.” Just as Priya begins to feel she can’t possibly tell her family that she’s engaged to an American, a secret is revealed that leaves her stunned and off-balance. Now she is forced to choose between the love of her family (and all that they represent) and Nick, the love of her life.
As sharp and intoxicating as sugarcane juice bought fresh from a market cart, The Mango Season is a delightful trip into the heart and soul of both contemporary India and a woman on the edge of a profound life change.
The Mango Season touches on a very human conflict with delicacy and humor. Miss Malladi makes Priya’s ambivalence understandable and powerful. She resolves it well and with tongue-in-cheek wit…[This] is a lovely novel, filled with the small details and sensual evocations of life in India without neglecting the claustrophobic aspect of that life. The tug in Priya’s heart is genuine.
Corinna Lother, The Washington Times
Malladi’s skills as a writer are a fluent style, as useful for exposition as for capturing the voices of her characters, and her ability to focus on a topic and a region so clearly that she really does convey something of their feel.
Claire Hopley, The Harvard Post
Amulya Malladi] uses simple, direct prose to paint fascinating pictures of people and places and allows them to come to life without being either subservient to them or patronising….If you come from the India she writes about, Malladi’s fine treatment of the subject will bind you in a happy complicity. If you are interested in reading about India, the novel will reward you, without seeking much effort in return.
Bhawesh Mishra, The Straits Times (Singapore)
Food is a tasty metaphor these day for delving into familial and cultural angst. In this latest dish, Priya returns to India after seven years in the United States to tell her family about her engagement to a non-Indian. But she finds her family’s cooking up a surprise dish of their own. Add dashes of other family drama, and you’ve got one spicy dish.
Carol Taylor, The Dallas Morning News
A powerful and evocative book that explores what happens when two cultures collide.
The Mango Season is a gentle, attractive novel with a great atmospheric feeling of India and its customs. Beautifully written.
Tim Manderson (Special Selection), Publishing News