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March 24, 2020
I’m so excited to be on the blog tour for Grown-up Pose. Many thanks to Berkley Publishing for providing me an ARC!
Anusha has always been the good Indian wife and daughter, never questioning her family’s demands or asking herself what she wants from her own life. But when she is tempted to kiss a coworker one night, she realizes she can’t stop ignoring her own unhappiness. She decides then and there to start following her heart, even if it leads her away from the comfortable life she’s created for herself.
Don’t let the cartoony cover fool you… This is actually a surprisingly serious (but hopeful) story about a woman trying to redefine herself after years of marriage and parenting have left her worn out, dissatisfied, and lost. The story line isn’t perfect; in fact, it’s downright clunky more times than it should be. Part of the problem is there are SO many issues packed in here: separation, divorce, friendship drama, dating after separation, one-night stands, travel abroad, small business issues, parenting woes, fights with parents, fights with in-laws, mental illness, and drug overdose. Did I get everything? Yeesh. It’s a lot, and it’s hard to cover all that without making the book feel like it’s jumping all over the place.
The other part of the problem is that it’s basically impossible to explore so many relationship dynamics at once and still do each one justice. Anusha’s relationship with her husband is mostly believable, but the ending is a little hard to accept. Her friendships struck me as odd, too, mostly because she and her girlfriends are SO mean to each other. Lots of catty comments between alleged besties means the relationships didn’t always ring true.
Still, I’m giving this book four stars because I relate to Anusha as a wife and mother, and I understand and appreciate her struggle to find balance, to find herself. I also like that this book focuses on an Indian family. It adds some diversity to my otherwise often humdrum reading lineup, and I enjoyed taking a peek into a different culture. Maybe I’m not supposed to boost my star rating for that, but I did.
Ultimately, this is a fast-moving and thoughtful look at one woman’s struggle to “be herself” while meeting the needs of so many other people in her life. I enjoyed it.