I love reading and I’m always looking for recommendations. Ever since I’ve added reading into my morning routine, I’ve been powering through a lot more books.
I thought I’d share what I’ve been reading with you guys in case you’re looking for some new books to add to your own collection!
Today, I’m going to talk about Monsoon Summer by Julia Gregson. I think my mom gave me this one in a stack that ended up on my bookshelf–I chose it from my unread section on a whim!
Kit Smallwood, an English woman training to be a midwife in 1947, halts her training to go to Wickam Farm with her Anglo-Indian mother. At the farm, her friend is working on a charity to set up a maternity hospital in India.
There, she meets Anto, an Indian doctor. He is everything her mother doesn’t want for her, but they end up falling in love and getting married anyways. After the marriage, the couple returns to his family home in India, where he hasn’t been since he was a young teenager.
Kit must adjust to life in a new culture trying to establish a career that is frowned upon and become part of a family that didn’t want her. All while trying to maintain a relationship with her own mother, who has secrets of her own.
I finished this book in only a few days. I was expecting it to be mostly a romance novel, but was pleasantly surprised to find that it was so much more. Monsoon Summer does have romance, but also shines light on familial relationships and cultural differences.
It’s hard to imagine being immersed into another culture and both sides can be frustrating throughout the story. The main character, Kit, can even be quite frustrating at times. Still, the book does a great job at providing insight on where everyone is coming from by using different points of view to narrate certain sections.
The characters are well-written and I could visualize each of them clearly. They all had gray areas that made them feel more real to the reader.
I loved the glimpse into Indian midwifery and relations with England after World War II. It was not something I’d ever thought of before and it made me interested in learning more.
The only negatives that I would give are that sometimes the pacing was off for me (although, I’ll admit, I’m a fan of the slow burn) and that the “secrets” alluded to early on were not as climactic as you are made to believe. However, I was drawn to so many other parts of the story that these were only minor nitpicks for me.
QUOTE THAT STOOD OUT
“Human beings had their own weather and couldn’t always control it.”
This was a tough call, but I think I liked Anto and his mother, Kunjamma, the best. I liked how Anto had his moments of imperfection, but still remained a strong partner. It felt more realistic that way. On the other hand, I thought Kunjamma had an interesting character arc and managed to surprise me as the story progressed.
Have you read Monsoon Summer? What did you think of it? What are you currently reading?