Natasha- the beautiful wife to an aristocratic Prince (an actual prince) spends her days juggling between her three kids, husband and her day job. She is a columnist and writes passionately about her everyday life. She draws inspiration from simpler things and believes in making everyone’s life brighter and easier. But when she finds her closest friend Trisha(and her husband’s best friend’s wife) fooling around with another man, she makes sure to point out how unfair and unethical it is to have an extramarital affair. But this particular conversation triggers something in her and she starts evaluating her relationship with Varun through a fine-tooth comb.
Shroff’s hilarious and sarcastic narrative is what holds this story together, Natasha’s not-so-subtle observations of day to day life, her description of her mother-in-law and the expectations that are put on her upon being married to a ‘Royal’ family, her life dealing with toddler tantrums and a husband who is always a bit too busy and finally her association with affluent families and the ‘designer’ choices she gets to make, turns this into an entertaining and chucklesome read.
The life of a house-wife, that the author so efficiently points out is that of hard work and sacrifices. Natasha’s ‘troubled’ marriage has a lot to do with her involvement in everyday activities in running the house, finally causing a dent in her marriage. But as Natasha goes through these changes in her mind, she feels scared about her situation because she believed that it was perfect and fit into a set of definitions of what a marriage should be. Simultaneously, she is worried about her obligations towards her husband and struggles to choose if she should reveal her friend’s infidelity and invite a conversation she doesn’t want to have.
‘Love in the Time of Affluenza’ transports us to the rich sections of Urban-Mumbai and what actually transpires behind all the glam and glitz. I wanted the story to be more than an affair and a reflection of sorts, but I did enjoy the narration and everything that came with it. Shroff’s parallels from the works of other writers such as Anais Nin, Sylvia Plath and characters like Lalu Prasad Yadav and Donald Trump, turns this into a relatable and witty read. Very Indian at heart, ‘Love in the Time..’ is a story you can binge on and be left thoroughly entertained. Just keep an open mind and stay away from this one if you find rich people to be show-offs and snobbish.
Blurb (as on Goodreads):
A novel that probes the norms of marriage, love, and adultery among the urban super-wealthy, Love in the time of Affluenza is a hilarious social satire set in Mumbai. The story explores the lives of three women as understood from the eyes of its protagonist Natasha, a happily married mother of three. She begins to ask some difficult questions about her own life after she stumbles upon her closest friend Trisha’s affair.
*Thank you to the publisher for a copy of the book. All opinions are my own*