As a Romantic Comedy, The Bride Test has the added charm of introducing us to another culture and its customs. Helen Hoang has written this with great insight and also managed to reflect the courage that young Asian women needed to begin a new life in America. She incorporated many of her Mother’s experiences into this book after finding out how tough her life had been.
The story begins in Vietnam where a poor cleaning girl is waylaid by a wealthy woman who has previously left the country and settled in America. Her visit back to her homeland has to do with finding a suitable wife for her son. The characters are believable, and one understands how the mother must see her son married and producing grandchildren. The cultural standards must not be allowed to slip even though they are surviving in another country.
The issues are many as one would expect. Not only has the young fiancé to cope with another language and culture, but with a young man she has never met before. It is expected that love will bloom after the wedding ceremony and as the couple become acquainted with each other. For the moment they are expected to live together and adjust to each other.
The author has a witty way with words and the characters come to life as they stumble along and try to fit into the mould that society, but more importantly, the Mother has provided. Underlying this humour is the knowledge that many people have undergone this kind of extraordinary kind of stress, to make a better life for themselves and their families.
|Publisher||Allen and Unwin|
|Distributor||Allen and Unwin|