Review: The Invitation

The Invitation
The Invitation by Anne Cherian
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Marital estrangement, mid-life career slump, the bafflement of parenting during the teen years — they’re the same for all Americans, regardless of country of origin.

Three stars — the writing was entertaining and moved right along, but nothing deep here. The friendship of 4 people who meet in graduate school and find a connection because they are all far from home and from the same country — though, very different parts of the country & society. This didn’t really ring true for me. Graduate students in big universities tend to hang out with members of their own department. Would the MBA, the anthropologist, and the computer scientist even cross paths?

There were so many interesting threads that could have been followed out: What was the real reason for Frances’ broken engagement? Did Mandy manage to turn her life around? How? Did the marriages survive? What was Aaron’s real reason for wanting to leave Harvard? How does making his bar mitzvah solve anything? What was life like for the families left behind in India?

The skimpy ending was, in particular, a disappointment. I read it several times to see if I missed something. Nope.

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