Book Review: Jamba – The Joint Family, by Sriram Balasubramanian

To portray a family in a fiction is always interesting. It brings more nuances for the author to write on, as well as for the reader to enjoy. The relationships between the characters aside, it also brings the different aspects to each character’s character sketch. Families these days are becoming more nuclear. A marriage function is done with a lot of care and attention to detail. It’s an occasion of much joy, and the event where units of the family return to the home to make the occasion more memorable. This novel talks about a joint family that comes together on the occasion of a marriage, but what follows is much more than the excitement of just the marriage.

The marriage in question is that of Lalitha, the elder sister of the protagonist Karthik. The occasion brings the relatives from far and wide, including some from the US, and that quite sets the platform for, as Anirudh puts it, “the tamasha to begin”. Lalitha and Karthik are close, with the former being there for the latter during a tough phase, and is a reason why Karthik wants the marriage to get completed without any problem. But each character of a family reunion adds their own flavor to the occasion, and Neha, Karthik’s cousin, brings one that is not likely to be welcomed by the stereotypes in the Tam-Brahm family.

Did the novel hold my attention? Yes. It did. Right from the first page, it was an engaging novel. The language and the style of narration are simple, but when the story is such, I feel that was important. I enjoyed the story, the character sketches and the interactions between the characters. Most of all, the character of the grandmother, Jamba paati, was one that I liked. The fierce sibling love between cousins Lalitha and Karthik was another aspect that I could relate to, so that stood out. The drama that Neha bought on top of the wedding drama added to the fun of the read, as well as the tension. It also brought out the generation gap quite nicely, and some quotes that stayed in mind even after I finished reading.

I know Tamil, so the lingo felt agreeable to me, as it brought out the setting well. But I don’t know if it would affect the experience for a reader who doesn’t know the language. A little more editing would have made the read better. And I don’t quite know what to make of the title, which didn’t fit, I feel.

Engaging, humorous and witty, Jamba – The Joint Family is a book I’d read for its simple plot, the different characters brought out quite well by the author, and of course, for the beautiful cover art as well.


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A score of 8 out of 10
Book Details
Title: Jamba – The Joint Family
Author(s): Sriram Balasubramanian Genre: Fiction
ISBN/ASIN: B01HC2KWAG Publisher: Read Out Loud Publishing

The review is part of the Blogger Outreach Program at b00k r3vi3ws, who provided a copy of the eBook for me to read. No other payment was taken. The views expressed here are mine, and they remain uninfluenced and unbiased.


(© Vinay Leo R. @ A Bookworm’s Musing
1st July 2016)

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