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Invitation [Hardcover]

Anne Cherian

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Book Description

May 29 2012
When Vikram invites three of his college friends to his son s graduation from MIT, they accept out of obligation and curiosity, viewing the party as a twenty-fifth reunion of sorts. Village genius Vikram, now the founder of a lucrative computer company, is having the party against his son s wishes. Frances and Jay regret accepting: Frances, a real estate agent, hasn't sold a house in a year; Jay s middle management job isn't brag worthy; and their daughter is failing the eleventh grade. Lali plans to hide the fact that her once-happy marriage is crumbling because her American husband is discovering his Jewish roots. Each had left UCLA expecting to be successful and have even more successful children. At Vikram s Newport Beach mansion, the showmanship they anticipate dissolves as each is forced to deal with his or her own problems. The follow-up to A Good Indian Wife, Anne Cherian s novel resonates with the poignancy of real life colliding with expectations unmet."

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: WW Norton (May 29 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0393081605
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393081602
  • Product Dimensions: 2.5 x 14.6 x 22.2 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 340 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #573,836 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

Starred review. ...Cherian s straightforward storytelling is riveting and rarely goes amiss... and the climax is fervent. "

About the Author

Anne Cherian is the author of A Good Indian Wife. Born and raised in Jamshedpur, India, she now lives in Los Angeles, California. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Customer Reviews

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Amazon.com: 4.1 out of 5 stars  26 reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Family, Friendship, and Success in an Imperfect World May 12 2012
By Story Circle Book Reviews - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
When Vikram invites his Indian college friends to his son's graduation party, they accept out of obligation and curiosity. It's been 25 years since their days as young immigrant college students at UCLA and their lives have gone in completely different directions. How will their lives compare? Who has been the most successful and managed to achieve the elusive American dream? How far will each go to put on the best front of success and happiness while hiding their unhappiness, discontent, and unfulfilled dreams?

Anne Cherian's newest novel The Invitation is like an Indian version of Amy Tan's The Joy Luck Club. Jump head-first into the fast-paced lives of three couples: Frances and Jay, Lali and Jonathan, Vikram and Priya. The characters are multifaceted and complicated, a precarious combination of Indian roots, American futures, and the mixed-in-between present in which each of them lives.

Frances and Jay are a hard-working Indian couple who are always short on time and money. Not only is Frances' real-estate career failing to thrive, but her daughter is failing high school. Hearing that their old friend's son is graduating from a prestigious school is like a slap in the face. The two are mortified that their friends will find out about their daughter's failings. Jay also feels unaccomplished next to his successful friend Vikram and wonders why his life can't be as "perfect." He came from a wealthy Indian family and was always destined to accomplish big things...why is it that these big things haven't happened?

Lali and Jonathan's marriage is crumbling as Jonathan rediscovers his Jewish roots and Lali cannot connect with his passion. She feels alone and left out of Jonathan's world and begins to rekindle an old flame. The possibility for an affair is right in front of her if she wants it. Is it worth the risk of discovery?

Vikram and Priya live in a mansion and drive expensive cars. Vikram's software company is hugely successful and his eldest son has just graduated from MIT. Everything is perfect...or so they want the world to believe. That's why they're throwing the graduation party. In truth, their son has no intention of taking over his father's business and using his degree. He wants to become a chef. Vikram hates this idea. His perfect life is full of discontent and conflict, making it all the harder to clothe his life in a sheath of faux-perfection.

The book's ending was abrupt and inconclusive, but that's my only complaint. I was instantly enthralled by the couples' intertwining lives. I loved the humanity of the characters the imperfections of their lives, despite their efforts to prove to the Indian community that they have it all. The Invitation is fresh and funny. Prepare to step into the colorful and unique lives of these American Indians. You'll love every moment of it.

by Jennifer Melville
for Story Circle Book Reviews
reviewing books by, for, and about women
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars great reading May 21 2012
By Angg - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I read this book over the weekend and totally enjoyed. It helps people see what they expect in the life but when it doesn't pan out how we must learn to accept the fate and see what we can do to better the situation. I especially loved Vic and Priya and their conversations together so funny at times that Priya has Vic whipped which is not always the case for many indian women in their marriage.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Winner! May 4 2012
By William A. Langley - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
I'm a huge Anne Cherian fan and her latest novel does not disappoint! She has once again managed to create a wonderful story that beautifully mixes Indian culture with contemporary, relatable characters. Loved the way the story builds to an unpredictable ending that surprises and satisfies. Bravo!
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars At last! May 1 2012
By Kitty Felde - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Been waiting forever for another Anne Cherian novel. She doesn't disappoint with "The Invitation". Characters you recognize, some you want to hit over the head with a frying pan, others you want to invite to your next dinner party. A wonderful read from a wonderful writer.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another great Anne Cherian novel May 30 2012
By nancy a steingard - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is one of those novels that I wished would never end. The characters are so well drawn and I had such a clear window into their interior monologue that I'm truly going to miss their voices now that I've finished. These character shared many qualities that are universal, their aspirations, their disappointments, the hopes and dreams they have for their children, yet many of their experiences had the distinctly Indian hue of upwardly mobile, education-focussed immigrants and the unique challenges they face in the United States. I would highly recommend this book as well as Anne Cherian's previous book, The Good Indian Wife.

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