As seen on Goodreads:
Lucky and her husband, Krishna, are gay. They present an illusion of marital bliss to their conservative Sri Lankan–American families, while each dates on the side. It’s not ideal, but for Lucky, it seems to be working. She goes out dancing, she drinks a bit, she makes ends meet by doing digital art on commission. But when Lucky’s grandmother has a nasty fall, Lucky returns to her childhood home and unexpectedly reconnects with her former best friend and first lover, Nisha, who is preparing for her own arranged wedding with a man she’s never met.
As the connection between the two women is rekindled, Lucky tries to save Nisha from entering a marriage based on a lie. But does Nisha really want to be saved? And after a decade’s worth of lying, can Lucky break free of her own circumstances and build a new life? Is she willing to walk away from all that she values about her parents and community to live in a new truth? As Lucky—an outsider no matter what choices she makes—is pushed to the breaking point, Marriage of a Thousand Lies offers a vivid exploration of a life lived at a complex intersection of race, sexuality, and nationality. The result is a profoundly American debut novel shot through with humor and loss, a story of love, family, and the truths that define us all.
A lovely debut, Marriage of a Thousand Lies brings to light the layers of struggles that shape our decisions on how we choose to live our lives. Lucky and her husband Kris are both gay, in a marriage of convenience to keep Kris in the country and for Lucky to mend the relationship with her disapproving family and save face in the eyes of the Sri Lanken community. Lucky returns home to care for her ill grandmother and is reunited with Nisha, her old friend whom she had a romantic relationship with when they were younger. Nisha is preparing for her arranged marriage to a man, but in the weeks leading up to her wedding the suppressed love and desire of these former lovers are unleashed forcing both Nisha and Lucky to reevaluate their choices and how they want to live their lives. Is it better to follow your heart and be shunned from your family and community or should you live a lie to be accepted? Marriage of a Thousand Lies brings us on a journey of struggles and pressures, as Nisha and Lucky make their decisions on how to live and where to find acceptance.
Last week, on the 20th anniversary of Ellen Degeneres coming out at gay on national tv to 42 million viewers, I reflected on how far we have come in the United States when it comes to acceptance and treating all people equally. Yes, we have progressed in 20 years, but there are still many individuals and groups that preclude some from being considered equal and treated fairly. It is part of the human struggle to protect and honor the past while we grow and accept change and celebrate difference moving forward. Little by little we are finding the balance, one family and one community at a time, as brave individuals choose to live authentically and gain support from their inner circle. I enjoyed this well written novel as it touched on the personal struggles of each character with the added bonus of Sri Lankan traditions and customs.
Marriage of a Thousand Lies will be available June 13th.
Preorder here on AMAZON.
About the author:
SJ Sindu was born in Sri Lanka and raised in Massachusetts. Her hybrid fiction and nonfiction chapbook, I Once Met You But You Were Dead, won the 2016 Turnbuckle Chapbook Contest and was published by Split Lip Press. She was a 2013 Lambda Literary Fellow and is currently a PhD candidate in Creative Writing at Florida State University. Marriage of a Thousand Lies is her first novel, and will be released by Soho Press in June 2017.