Forbidden Romance in 1970s Fiji

ATWIB 2013 This was a fun romp in Fiji and an adventurous Romeo and Juliet tale of forbidden love between a young and socially awkward Peace Corps Volunteer and an Indian woman born and raised in the Fijian Indian community.
My review was very brief: Dodging Machetes: How I Survived Forbidden Love, Bad Behavior, and the Peace Corps in FijiDodging Machetes: How I Survived Forbidden Love, Bad Behavior, and the Peace Corps in Fiji by Will Lutwick
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

A quick enjoyable read about forbidden romance on Fiji in the 1970s. The story is told with an appealing self-deprecating wit.

Here is the Goodreads summary of the book: “Will Lutwick, a quirky misfit, gets an MBA at 22, but soon realizes he and the American corporate world are a horrid mismatch. He joins the Peace Corps and is sent to the Fiji Islands, the quintessential tropical paradise. Will finds himself attracted to prohibited pulchritude when Rani Gupta, a beautiful, rebellious 20-year-old from a traditional Hindu family, begins working in his office. Dating is taboo in Fiji’s large Indian community, and an interracial couple would be unprecedented. But Rani and Will soon discover their mutual attraction impossible to resist. Their liaison is clandestine, but word gets out, and a cultural firestorm engulfs Rani’s community. The two lovers are under constant threat of attack, and violence ensues. Will must confront his personal demons about courage and commitment, while Rani is treated like a pariah by her people. Will the besieged lovers stay together, or will a hostile world tear them apart?

In between the dramatic scenes, this seriocomic memoir is savvy and often hilarious. Lutwick deliciously skewers his own behavior and satirizes the people, practices, and protocols he encounters in Fiji and in backstory about his youth.

Will Lutwick has woven his provocative insight with the dramatic events of a singular, but timeless, forbidden-love story. The result is “Dodging Machetes”–a story-driven page-turner from an exceptional writer”

Scoreboard update:

Around the World (goal: 52 total including at least 6 in each of 6 different regions) 11
Asia/Mideast: 3 (Israel, China, Afghanistan)
Africa: 1 (Madagascar)
Europe: 3 (England/UK, Monaco, Poland)
Caribbean/Central America/North America: 2 (US, Cuba)
Oceania: 1 (Fiji)
South America:
Extra: 1 (Scotland)

Around the US (goal: 50 states, DC, and PR): 4 (CA, MS, NY, RI)

1001 Books (goal 52): 6

A to Z challenge (must be completed in order–26 author last names A to Z then 26 titles A to Z–strategy is all!): 8
Authors: Auster, Beinart, Chandler, Donovan, Eugenides, Faulkner, Grau, Hosseini

About Beth Parks Aronson

I am Associate Professor of Psychology at Lamar University. Previously, I was a psychologist in private practice in Jenkintown, PA where I specialized in anxiety disorders and working with people living with chronic and life-threatening illnesses. I am a little addicted to good literature. Ok, a lot addicted.
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