Book Review : Dollar Bahu

Author : Sudha Murty

Genre :   Fiction

Rating :   2/5

Dollar Bahu is an English translation of the book, Dollar Sose (written in Kannada). Set in Karnataka, the book is a third-person narration centering around the timeless theme of “Love versus Money”.

The plot begins with Chandra Shekhar moving to Dharwad, from Bangalore, for few months on some business. In the train, he meets Vinuta Desai, the girl with the golden voice and immediately feels attracted to her. Chandru, as he is fondly called throughout the narration,  leaves behind his “Pehla Pyaar”,  in India and moves to America. One thing leads to another and by the time he realizes what he has missed, his younger brother, Girish, a bank clerk, gets married to Vinuta. Gouruamma, her money-minded mother-in-law dotes on Chandru, clearly for the dollars he sends her every month. When Chandru gets married to Jamuna, the only daughter of a rich businessman and moves to America with him, she becomes the Dollar Bahu. Thus begins the full-on family drama with Gouramma and Surabhi (the sister-in-law) constantly comparing Vinuta and Jamuna. Vinu’s devotion towards her family is constantly crushed under the supremacy of the dollars and expensive gifts that the Dollar Bahu, Jamuna sends. Gouramma’s dream of visiting America, the sacred land, comes true when Jamuna gets pregnant. However, the turn of events, during her one-year stay in America turn out to be an eye-opener for her and she gets a whole new perspective about life in America.

The plot has quite many co-incidences and lives of many characters are highly and quite unrealistically inter-woven.  The book talks about the cultural and social difficulties one goes through in a foreign land, through the lives of its big and small characters.  From instances of “The grass always seems greener on the other side” to the bare reality that “all that glitters is not gold”, Dollar Bahu is a nothing-better-to-do read.


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