Grown Up Pose is a love letter to finding yourself. It’s a story about a woman who feels boxed in and defined by her roles. How does she regain her sense of individuality? Of happiness in herself? It’s a wonderful romance that is perfect for anyone also struggling with finding the essence of yourself.
A delightfully modern look at what happens for a young woman when tradition, dating, and independence collide, from acclaimed author Sonya Lalli.
Adulting shouldn’t be this hard. Especially in your thirties. Having been pressured by her tight-knit community to get married at a young age to her first serious boyfriend, Anu Desai is now on her own again and feels like she is starting from the beginning.
But Anu doesn’t have time to start over. Telling her parents that she was separating from her husband was the hardest thing she’s ever done—and she’s still dealing with the fallout. She has her young daughter to support and when she invests all of her savings into running her own yoga studio, the feelings of irresponsibility send Anu reeling. She’ll be forced to look inside herself to learn what she truly wants
(Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)
Grown Up Pose is a romance book beginning with separation. Told interspersed with memories of the past, it’s a story about both figuring out what went wrong in our relationship, and how we can fix it. Grown Up Pose focuses on Anu’s journey of self re-discovery. At the same time, it’s focused on her Indian family (and family in law) who constantly challenge her ideas of tradition versus modernity. What does it mean for women now as opposed to before? Anu struggles with their expectations of her as well as the ways their beliefs have filtered into her own mind.
There is fabulous diversity as Anu talks both about beliefs her mother has, that differ with her own, as well as looking at these various images of women – herself, her mother, and her friends. I loved how seamlessly her culture is interwoven whether it be those memories of food, the relationships and superstitions we have, or even just the way we celebrate. Anu struggles with both guilt and shame as she handles her separation, but also her daughter. But Grown Up Pose is about more than balancing modernity and tradition. It’s about Anu’s journey to find herself.
I could really empathize with Anu’s struggles because in a past relationship I completely lost who I was. I lost all sense of myself as an individual and became only what my role was as a partner. It’s been a difficult process to find what makes me happy again and so I was able to see myself in Anu. When we feel we have become defined by things we are, things we have or want to have, but not the essence of who we are. The spark we have to get up in the morning.
In Grown Up Pose, we wonder not only how we can be the best we can be, but if we will ever truly feel grown up? All of these characters are trying to find pieces of themselves, bits of happiness, all on a mission to achieve what we might think of as markers of being ‘grown up’. I’m not sure how I feel about the ending because while I loved Anu, I was missing more connection between her and her daughter. But, that being said, I really enjoyed Anu’s journey.