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A Convenient Marriage by Jeevani Charika - Blog Tour and Review

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Hello and welcome to my blog for this stop on the tour for A Convenient Marriage by Jeevani Charika. I am really thrilled to welcome you all to my blog! 

I liked the sound of this book and read it while I was on holiday last week. I like reading books about people from cultures different to mine, so I was excited to read about two Sri Lankan people.

The book takes place in a few different time periods. First of all, in 1995, we meet Chaya at university in Oxford. She has left her family in Sri Lanka to study in Oxford. She is the "clever one" between her and her sister, who is the "pretty one" and who is already married. She knows that her parents want her to settle down and get married when she's finished her degree. However, she meets Noah, a fellow student, and the two begin a relationship. Chaya really loves him, but she knows her family won't approve if she marries a white man, so eventually she has to break up with him.

In 2005, Chaya lives a somewhat spartan life. She has never got over losing Noah. She goes to work, she goes home to her tiny bedsit, she tries to keep her panic attacks at bay. Noah is visiting her university, so she goes to see him, and realises all that she's lost. On a trip home to Sri Lanka, she thinks that maybe it's time to let her parents introduce her to some eligible men with a view to marriage.

Meanwhile we meet Gimhana. Gim is a lawyer in London, although he's also from Sri Lanka. He is climbing the ladder at his law firm, although he's one of the only people of colour who work there. His colleague, Barry, tells him that he'll never be made partner if he isn't married because of the firm's family values. Gim is gay, and there are rumours about him at work. He is terrified to come out to his family, so he just has random hookups.

Chaya and Gim meet at a party and quite like each other. Over the next year, back in London, they become friends - Gim helps Chaya through a number of mental health crises. Then Gim has an idea - they could get married. It would be a marriage of convenience, they would never sleep together and are free to sleep with other people, although not to be in other relationships.

Next, we meet Chaya and Gim several years later when everything is about to unravel. They're both in their mid to late 30s and although they are friends, they are finding that their convenient marriage is becoming a hindrance.

I believe this is Jeevani's debut novel under her own name, but she has written under the name Rhoda Baxter previously. I would be really interested in reading more of her work as I liked her characterisation a lot. I'm giving this book four out of five!

Here's a little bit more information about the author:

Jeevani* writes multicultural women’s fiction. She was born in the South of England, but spent much of her childhood in Sri Lanka, with short forays to Nigeria and Micronesia, before returning to settle in Yorkshire. She studied Biochemistry and Microbiology at Oxford and ended up working in university technology transfer. All of this, it turned out, was excellent preparation for becoming a novelist.
She also writes romantic comedies under the name Rhoda Baxter. Her books have been shortlisted for the RoNA awards, the Love Stories awards and the Joan Hessayon award. She is a member of the UK Romantic Novelists’ Association and the Society of Authors.  
Jeevani loves all things science geeky. She also loves cake, crochet and playing with Lego. You can find out more about her (and get a free book by signing up to her newsletter) on her website.
(*Jeevani is pronounced ‘Jeev-uh-nee’. Or just call her Jeev) 
Social Media links
Twitter: @rhodabaxter, and @jeevanicharika  
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1 comment

  1. Thanks so much for being part of the blog tour today Rebecca x



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