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Bijou Roy

3.04  ·  Rating Details ·  83 Ratings  ·  15 Reviews
In Ronica Dhar's powerful debut, her title character, Bijou Roy, is blissfully experiencing the enchantments of first love, her father passes away, leaving her closed off and shaky. Her career and relationship in limbo, she travels to India to scatter his remains--a ritual traditionally performed by a son--in the river that runs through his native city. However, she doesn' ...more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published January 17th 2012 by St. Martin's Griffin (first published July 14th 2010)
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Jul 12, 2012 Jouraine marked it as dnf
Shelves: fiction, library, 2012
This is a book by an Indian author writing about an Indian character who is being forced to go back to the motherland, all the while complaining about how horrible it is, after being in America. Surely, this has never been done before... oh, wait... Maybe I'm just harsh because I recently read Mango Season which was pleasant and easy, compared to this one. I felt like I had already taken the journey, only it was much better the first few times.

There is writing what you know, and then there is p
Aug 26, 2015 Alexis rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book had so much potential, but left me empty. Lots of questions that were never answered. The young woman, Bijou Roy, returns to her parents' native India to set her father's ashes free into the river because there were no male heirs to do so. While in India, Bijou gets little glimpses of her father as a young man, a revolutionary, an activist, a friend, but no one answers her real questions about him--she can't get his whole story. While this may be a lesson for us that we can never know ...more
May 23, 2014 Joy rated it liked it
I picked this book up because I wanted some light reading, and was pleased to discover that this piece of "chick lit" has some depth to it. Bijou travels to India and learns about her father's past and his involvement in political movements 20 years after Partition. This is a time period I have not encountered before in Indian literature in the US, and it was interesting to get a peek into the politics and philosophy of creating a new Indian nation, essentially from scratch. Although part of me ...more
Oct 09, 2010 Katie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2010books
Really had to push through this book...not sure if it was due to the tough week...or the writing. I guess just read this and gain your own opinion.

This story follows the incongruous life of Bijou Roy, an American-raised Indian. After her father's death, she goes home to rituistically throw his ashes in to the Gangee river. Here in Calcutta, she contemplates her life with her American boyfriend and her new love interest, the son of her father's revolutionaristic best friend.

The story never really
Jan 20, 2014 Susan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: india
Disappointed in this novel which started off promisingly. Bright girl, American born, of Indian parents, returns to India (second trip) to spread her father's ashes. The description of Kolata was best and most believable part of the book. Also, some of the history of the Naxalite movement was of great interest to me. But the cultural identity issues, love life (do I love him, or him, or none of above) felt unreal, as did even her reaction to her father's death.
The plot hardly breaks new ground--a young woman born and raised in the U.S. to Indian parents travels to India for the first time to release her deceased father's ashes in a holy river. There she pieces together a history of her father that she had never suspected while growing up, and maturity brings a new perspective on her family's culture. However, "Bijou Roy" is so elegantly written, such a lovely elegy for her father and times gone by, that it is well worth the read.
Jan 06, 2011 Deena rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The book's main character, Bijou, grows up in suburban Detroit and moves to Washington, DC. As a result, many of the American geographic references are familiar to me: the Ambassador bridge, commuting from Oakland County to Washtenaw, Pewabic Pottery, Eastern Market, driving from NIH down Wisconsin Ave. to return to DC, cherry blossoms, the Potomac river, U Street.

Funny how that happens.
Oct 27, 2010 Linda rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I learned a bit about East Indian traditions, but found the book almost boring. The protagonist discovers secrets of her family's past and she evaluates her own romantic interests, but it was a struggle to follow the story line. I had higher expectations...
Dec 10, 2014 Nasha rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The description of Calcutta is what kept me going. I liked the character, but wanted so much more of her than Dhar was willing to give. A potentially good story, but an achingly slow read. I would recommend this for former Calcuttans.
Jul 28, 2014 Lisa rated it really liked it
Shelves: cityterm
Not what I usually read, but this has a captivating series of narrators and plays with time and place in compelling ways. Plus Ronica is great!
Mary Torres
May 17, 2013 Mary Torres rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very touching with a struggle for identity and the passing of a father. You can get lost in this book . . .
Mar 22, 2011 Becky rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
A slow moving book. I've read better books about Asian Indians. It is a story about cultural identity and it has a good ending.
Dec 10, 2013 Beth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very good book and easy to read. I enjoyed how vividly the author described life in Calcutta - I could very nearly imagine what it was like over there. Incredibly rich, yet simple prose.
Mar 23, 2011 Liz rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Complicated life of Indian girl brought up in Detroit, she goes to Calcutta and learns about her father's radical and not so heroic past
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