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After a violent encounter with her parents’ choice of prospective husband, Anjali leaves the tiny town where she grew up and hops a bus to Bangalore, where, she’s been told, success comes easy to the young Indians who work in call centers. She plans to reinvent herself — new name, new clothes, new life — by perfecting her English, experiencing the world, and leaving her past behind. Of course, as anyone who’s ever tried to escape their youth can tell you, that’s not always as easy as it sounds.
As she adjusts to her new life in Bangalore, Anjali’s feelings swing from determined and excited to terrified and — she is a teenage girl, after all — a little whiny. Narrator Farah Bala gives Anjali’s dialogue a wide range of emotion as she navigates the ups and downs of trading one life for another: from making friends and flirting with love interests to finding out what’s happened to the family she left at home, Anjali’s thoughts are as serious, passionate, anxious, and flighty as you’d expect. Along the way, a lively cast of characters weaves in and out of Anjali’s story, and Bala handles them all — American English teachers, a traditional landlady, shady acquaintances — with ease. Her impressive range of accents even allows her to layer one on top of the other for Indian characters pretending to be American in the call centers, all of which offers an intriguing look at the way U.S. culture is seen around the world. —Blythe Copeland
So she sets off to Bangalore, India's fastest-growing major metropolis, and quickly falls in with an audacious and ambitious crowd of young people who have learned how to sound American by watching shows like Seinfeld in order to get jobs as call-center service agents, where they are quickly able to out-earn their parents. And it is in this high-tech city where Anjali, suddenly free from the traditional confines of class, caste, gender, and mores, able to confront her past and reinvent herself. Of course, the seductive pull of modernity does not come without a dark side....
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Ember Rayne on 06-27-11
Worth the credit, and your ears!
So I'm finishing up listening to Miss New India and it's just great! ♥ Believable, compelling characters! Farah Bala's narration is endearing and sweet. The comments about her "high, whiny voice" have to do with her Indian accent, which is to be expected. She confuses "condescension for "condensation" at one point, and far from being annoying, you can still tell what she means but it highlights the problem of Indian-American communication that the story tackles. I bought this one on a whim and am not disappointed. You find the characters behaving in refreshingly honest ways, from filching shampoo to losing their tempers in just the normal way. This one is worth your credit, as long as accents don't trouble you. If they DO trouble you... well... this one may not be for you.
10 of 10 people found this review helpful
By connie on 06-01-11
This was not what I expected from a Bharati Mukerherjee novel -- it was an easier listen, but still had some serious themes. I disliked the narrator for the first half, but then once accustomed to her, I began to think the choice of a "hestitant" audio voice may have been intentional to match the hesitant literary voice.
While Audible's current sale has this under Chick Lit, don't expect a "Shopaholic in Delhi" kind of listen. It's got more depth than that!
9 of 9 people found this review helpful