Singh, Sonia. Goddess for Hire (2004). 305 Pages. HarperCollins. $13.95
Our main character– Maya– is thirty years old, unemployed, single, and lives with her parents. She drinks a lot of Starbucks, drives a Hummer, and spends a lot of time shopping. She is, unfortunately, shallow, self-centered, and difficult to like. She has a major inferiority complex because, as she says “We’re all supposed to get married, have children, and be either a doctor, lawyer, or engineer, all by the time we’re twenty-five” (3) and while her cousins have all achieved this, Maya has made no progress at all.
This does not, however, mean that Maya attempts to make any progress toward pleasing her parents, or even getting a job. She whines constantly about the fact that she is a disappointment, yet does nothing to remedy it. To sum Maya up, she is the stereotypical spoiled, rich resident of Orange County, California.
Her Indian origin is all that makes Maya unique from every other spoiled rich girl in Newport Beach. This Indian heritage is what leads to her parents arranging a marriage with a man named Tahir from Delhi, which Maya– a truly Americanized girl– rejects on principle. “Maybe Tahir would find me unmarriageable? I quickly discarded that thought. I was gorgeous, possessed superb taste, and could make conversation at any cocktail party” (9). When Maya finally meets Tahir, planning to discourage him, she finds a gorgeous man who claims to have no interest in marrying her whatsoever. If you’ve read a single novel from the chick-lit genre, you know where this is going. Man and woman verbally spar, fall in love, have a torrid affair and live happily for at least a while.
Shortly after Tahir is introduced, the main plot comes into play; Maya is an incarnation of the goddess Kali and she’s been tasked with saving the world, or at least a small part of it. She learns to harness her powers and kick some ass. She stops far short of being a full on super-hero, instead being the bumbling anti-hero who manages to kick some ass, almost by accident.
It manages to be funny and for the most part light-hearted. It’s certainly not a deep, or terribly complex book. It’s an easy, quick read.
The Quick Version:
If you want a light book with a simple plot that will make you laugh at least a few times, this is a good choice. It scores a 3.5 of 5.