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BOOK REVIEW: A Newlywed’s Adventures in Married Land

Reviewed by Priyanka Batra Harjai

Author: Shweta Ganesh Kumar*
Publisher: Indireads
A Newlywed’s Adventures In Married Land is available on on Amazon :

“Dependent” is a label that no female on this earth would assimilate effortlessly and so was the state of Mythili. This novella, running parallel to the classic “Alice in Wonderland” is the adventurous journey of Mythili, a newlywed and now a workaholic turned “dependent.”

The novella takes readers down into a rabbit-hole (of matrimony) to wonderland (married land i.e. Manila, Philippines). This new city is inhabited by new characters (Sid’s social friends, a head hunter and Sid’s ex)  who constantly turn Mythili’s married life upside down with mind boggling logics and clever word play.


The novella progresses with every chapter starting with opening lines from ‘Alice In Wonderland’ and continuing with Mythili’s narration. A successful crime reporter, Mythili gets married after four and a half years of a long distance relationship. After the wedding, she accompanies her husband to Manila – the married land (metaphor Wonderland) with a visa declaring her new status as – a ‘dependent’.

Mythili and Sid, her husband soon find that, a married life is very different from that of what they had experienced during the long distance relationship phase. Mythili finds that strange characters populate her new social world, unlike anybody she has met before. As they meet, chat and respond in most irrational way, the more she tries to understand them the more she gets confused, ultimately affecting her married life.

The guilt of being unemployed and being surrounded by drastically different people and vicious circles of maddening tea parties, Mythili feels unfit for these circumstances. It seems to her that being idle and gossiping is not part of her persona and this frustrates her. Infuriated Mythili decides to take up a ‘self – dependent’ lifestyle by restarting her blog.

What do you think – Will writing rants provide her with some solution? Will she able to understand the strange people around her and vice-versa? Will she able to find and define her identity once again?

My recommendation

At a first glance, this is a light-hearted and charming fantasy. The author uses simple yet ingenious language making it interesting to read. Its narrative course, storyline, sequence of actions, characters and metaphors make it as impressive as the classic children’s tale.

I like the very fact that Shweta – the author, depends more on the situations, characters and their reactions in those situations rather than any unnecessary attempt for character scrutiny. She has nowhere overdone the newlyweds overindulgence in their intimate needs and reactions.

She does not limit the scope of the novella to just a read but rather provides it a didactical purpose as well by intelligently describing Mythili’s growth from an unruly girl to a wise woman.

By the end of the story, Mythili (and the reader as well) experiences that life can change you, your beliefs, your opinions, your actions and reactions to transform you into a better and wise human being. It helps to understand that married life does not comes along with a definitive rule book or a cheat sheet and that smiling Facebook profile images do not represent happily married lives.

No-doubt a must read for expat women and every other married woman (irrespective of her ethnicity) and who have left behind everything just to follow her husband after marriage. Surprisingly, you will find this love book (or say, novella) to be a respite from the mockery laden and self-proclaimed happy world.

I enjoyed the book thoroughly as it took me back to the memory lane many times when I was struggling within myself with identity crisis after my marriage and finally I decided to restart  blogging as an attempt to find myself ONCE AGAIN.

A Newlywed’s Adventures In Married Land is available on on Amazon :


* Shweta Ganesh Kumar is the bestselling author of ‘Coming Up On The Show’ and ‘Between The Headlines’, two novels on the Indian Broadcast News industry.
Her latest book, ‘A Newlywed’s Adventures in Married Land,’ is now available worldwide via Toronto based publishers, Indireads. She currently lives in El Salvador, with her husband and two-year old daughter. You can read more about her life and work at

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