The Wedding Season by Su Dharmapala

Wedding Season final jacket

Welcome to the Mardi Gras – Sri Lankan style. This is the title of a chapter from The Wedding Season, and that’s what this book is. A Mardi Gras, a carnival of people, hilarious situations and madcap fast-paced encounters, with an ending that will sit in your memory for some time.

The story is about the life of its lead, Shani, and as the title says, it’s wedding season. She has to battle her mother, many prospective and odd men who want to, and have to get married. While she deals with the unique situations her friends, family, deceitful work colleagues and life throw at her, all based in a fast-moving Melbourne.

Shani is an effervescent, delightful single 32-year-old woman. She has a determined and positive attitude to everything she does. Even her scheming, uproarious mother can’t get in the way of what she desires and where she wants to be in this world. The bet, or challenge Shani’s mother sets up for her will have you laughing aloud; it did with my partner who also read it.

I love books that set out what lies ahead in its chapter titles, and this book does that perfectly. But it didn’t have a table of contents, odd. I would have loved to see all the wonderful titles set out on one page; some titles are a chapter in themselves.

The Wedding Season has passages that are charmingly warm and genuinely funny, all told in an upbeat voice that will stick with you. And, I learned a lot about Sri Lankan culture and a lot about Australian/Melbourne culture from Shani’s optimistic perspective.

It is wonderful learning about another culture through fiction; and this author places you in the heart of her cultural background, so much so this book comes with a glossary. Five pages of terms that explain the Sri Lankan words used. And, even the glossary is full of the author’s wit and bright positive personality.

It was a delight to read such a clear, well-told story, from a view I and I’d guess many other Australians have not discovered.

To read more about Su Dharmapala visit The Sweet Escape

Rob Kennedy

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