Saturday, March 28, 2015

Karma Gone Bad

Karma Gone Bad
Jenny Feldon

Karma Gone Bad: How I Learned to Love Mangos, Bollywood and Water Buffalo

Genre: Memoir

Summary (from Goodreads): Made in America. Outsourced to India. At Home with Herself?

A charming yet honest memoir of one Upper West side housewife who finds herself saying good-bye to Starbucks and all her notions of "home" when she and her husband are outsourced to Hyderabad. Jenny Feldon imagined life in India as a glitzy yoga whirlwind. Instead she found buffalo-related traffic jams. Jenny struggled to fight the depression, bitterness, and anger as her sense of self and her marriage began to unravel. And it was all India's fault--wasn't it? Equally frustrating, revealing, and amusing, this is the true story of an accidental housewife trapped in the third world.

Review: Hmmmm, this is an interesting book to review because I can't figure out exactly what I thought about it.  Feldon is a a wealthy, sophisticated Manhattanite who is addicted to Starbucks, devoted to her tiny dog, reliant on designer clothes and shoes, and all-in-all unlike me in so many ways.  Her husband gets transferred to Hyderabad, India, and she moves with him for a two year period.  Does she embrace the experience of living in India by meeting new people, trying new things and exploring new places?  No, at least not for the first 3/4 of the book.  She basically whines about how she can't get Starbucks and has no friends.  I could sympathize with her problems involving electricity, water, appliances, transportation, language, and food, because everything was such a huge culture shift for a girl used to living in America, but I was really frustrated by the constant complaining, lack of action, and petty fighting with her husband.  Feldon's writing was entertertaining, and I kept reading through all the selfish complaining because I was convinced that she would learn and grow as a person, and I was curious how she would learn her lessons.  The last quarter of the book met my expectations; Feldon learned to embrace her experience in India.

To be fair, I'm not sure I would handle living in India any better than she did - I would also be terrified of the crazy driving and the rampant food poisoning.

Rating: 3 stars

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