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Village By The Sea An Indian Family Story Tie In

3.55  ·  Rating Details ·  2,269 Ratings  ·  146 Reviews
Forgotten by the evolution of the centuries and indifferent to the advances of the twentieth century, Thul, a tiny fishing village not far from Bombay, continues to follow those rhythms of the seasons that have always been handed down. Hari and Lila were born and raised in the village, but now their family is falling into despair: the father to alcohol while the mother is ...more
Published September 1st 1992 by Puffin (first published 1982)
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Grace She's different to them, as they came from a big city and she's from a little village. She's kind to them and brings them flowers to put in their hair…moreShe's different to them, as they came from a big city and she's from a little village. She's kind to them and brings them flowers to put in their hair plus they are excited at being at Thul.(less)
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Community Reviews

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Oct 08, 2015 Sarah rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015, ebook, classics, fiction
Overall I thought this book was good but there were quite a few issues I had with it.

I would have loved if the characters were more fleshed out. I didn't feel like I had full access to Hari or Lila's mindset. Maybe it was the writing but I felt like I was quite distanced from them. Obviously I sympathised with them but I think Anita Desai could have done a better job with making her characters more authentic. All of the characters felt very watered-down and that was disappointing.

The story was
Jan 15, 2009 Dongdong rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Explanation of Rating: The Village By The Sea is the story of the evolution of Lila and Hari into adults as they face their family’s predicaments. The story has a gentle voice of the author and it is an impressive book. I have realized again that there are people who have a tougher life than me. Moreover, it made me embarassed that I have thought I am poor at times. I love the book because it tells about a life style and love of a poor family who live in Thul, which is fourteen kilometers away f ...more
Gargi Sharma
May 09, 2012 Gargi Sharma rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2012
What would you do if you had a permanently bed-ridden mother and a drunkard for a father,with three siblings to look after.

Lila lives with her mother, father and three siblings – Hari, her brother, and Bela and Kamal, her sisters – in the fishing village of Thul, fourteen kilometres from the Metro city of Mumbai, or Bombay as it was called then. Hari, the only son, works everyday to pay off his father’s debts.

Disturbed and agitated by the conditions at his place, Hari runs away to Bombay, leavin
Feb 27, 2008 Joni rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Picked this up in a charity shop a while back (call me a cheapskate if you want) but have only just got round to reading it. It's a great story of survival and family love, (how Soppy do I sound?) and I learnt a lot about the life of people who are less fortunate than me and most people I know, which I think is important, because a wise person once said,

"Most children are so selfish all they think about is themselves: Me, Me, Me and Me. They just don’t seem to realise that there are other peopl
Oct 09, 2010 Somdutta rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Hari along with his sisters Bela, Kamal and Lila, endure the hardships which come with poverty. They along with their ill mother and permanently drunk father live in a small village of Thul. The main occupation of the people of the village is fishing and some people own land for farming. Hari, however does not farm and neither does he fish. He sells coconut and makes a meager living. As days pass by, news of an upcoming factory in their village comes to picture. Hari is perplexed and his mind is ...more
b00k r3vi3ws
Jul 04, 2012 b00k r3vi3ws rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-i-own
“The village by the Sea” by Anita Desai was my introduction to the much debated - Indian Writing in English [IWE]. Since then, each time I have picked up this book [Yes, I am one of those people who likes to read & re-read the same book over and over again] I have found something new to admire about it and over the last few years I have accumulated quite a few ‘points’ that I like about this book.

First, as a work of fiction it is not short of exquisite. The setting, the characters and the pl
To be honest, for a book that is inspired by real life stories of actual people, The Village by the Sea reads a lot more like a fairytale. Which isn't necessarily a bad thing, but it's just kind of weird the way things worked out for Lila and her family at the end. It's like someone waved a magic wand and took all their troubles away, if you know what I mean. There's quite a number of things that didn't make sense to me, plot-wise.

(view spoiler)
Dhivya Balaji
Mar 21, 2017 Dhivya Balaji rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

The book has been in my TBR pile for nearly two years now. I did not know about this before I got this book as a very thoughtful gift. But the moment I saw the cover, I fell in love with it. Yes, I did judge a book by the cover, guilty as charged. But as I read the summary, a late 1980s, 1990s feeling crept over me. I was transported back in time to the books and movies that spoke of families, of hope and love, a deep familial bond. This was before I knew the original publicatio
The Village by The Sea is the (true) story of siblings Hari and Lila, along with their younger sisters Kamal and Bella, as they struggle in a quickly changing India. Living in a small village by the sea, the children have to adapt to difficult circumstances that include a drunken father, a terribly ill mother, and extreme poverty. It's not a story of overcoming adversity but one of resilience.

Desai's writing is simple and fitting for the book, but not remarkable. Her descriptions of natural loca
Jay Dee
Sep 26, 2013 Jay Dee rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Heart-wrenching, steeped in emotion and pain, but at the same time magical and surreal, with a profound beauty that still lives in my memories.

It is not only the story of Lila and Hari that I found myself worrying over, but also the overall fate of the region. The questions that arise are hard to answer... globalization is inevitable, and with it comes salvation of sorts. Yet at the same time something is lost... I realize of course that the simplicity that brings the beauty in the village also
Jun 23, 2013 Preeti rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Beautifully captured the sea view...& life of the fishermen people.
The real picture of Mumbai & city people is described very well.
But lack of conversation will detached you from the characters sometimes.
You can go for this book if you are a good reader who loves imagination..the books have lots of events which can easily stand before your eyes.
I like the way writer "Anita Desai" wrote on this subject.Its always a controversial subject that which life is better "CITY LIFE or VILLAGE LIFE
Aanusha Ghosh
Dec 05, 2014 Aanusha Ghosh rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Definitely one of the most poorly written books I've read, verging on poverty porn and with an ending that is so naively optimistic that you are astonished the author is actually a seasoned writer. The village by the sea has no memorable characters, most of them flatter than a repeatedly-driven-over roadkill, with the emotional range (as Hermione Granger would put it) of a teaspoon. What's worse, and most insufferable to me, is the fact that the author insists on treating its readers as brain-de ...more
Dec 09, 2009 Zyan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
i had to read it for my english assignment. i thought i wouldnt like it, but then, i found out that i enjoyed reading it. it taught me a lot about life and how we should be grateful for everything that we have. i always thought that my life was suck, but this book, in a way, made me realized that i should be grateful that my life is nt as bad?(well, i dont knw hw to dscribe their lives) as hari's family's.
glad that my teacher chose this book for me, (though its nt one of my favorites, still wor
Arisha Salman
May 29, 2016 Arisha Salman rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favourites
Aaaaah I love this so much so much so much. The Village By The Sea is a wonderful portrayal of true family struggle and what lengths one can go to, in order to build a safe and secure future for their family. I read this a long time ago, and I still remember the seriousness and keen interest with which I devoured this masterpiece. Anita Desai managed to provide a beautiful and deep insight into the lives of the less fortunate, while tackling various other subjects.
You will surely take away bea
Rushy muhd
This story is about the village named Thul.The undeveloped area and full of ignorance villagers where the husbands are abusive while the children will looking for a job. In this story line, Lila,Bela,Kamal and Hari are the main characters. Hari and Lila are struggling to survive.from this story of Anita Desai, we can concluded that no matter where we go or how far we reach.we have to learn so that we can grow more mature and life will be better with knowledge.
Angelica Watson (psst! amrutha)
Wonderful book. Anita Desai's writing is marvelous! Simple yet with a touch of intricacy, delicacy. :)
I love the way she uses/poses questions when writing. This book depicts our Indian life beautifully, more than teaches us a lot. A book with numerous morals, I truly loved it! Beautiful, absolutely beautiful. :)

Anchal Bibra
Jun 29, 2012 Anchal Bibra rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love Anita Desai's writing. She completely transports you to the Indian landscape (something her daughter does well, too). Her writing is simple and vivid. This story is all about change-- on a macro as well as a personal level. Leaning to cope with change, changing with the times, etc-- it's all in there. The characters are interesting and relatable. Enjoyable read.
Sep 30, 2007 Yinka added it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: cambridge literature students
i learnt the hardship and struggle experienced by a 14 year old girl and her brother how they had to fend for thier drunk father,thier bad ridden ma and thier siblings,it was a really good book.
The Styling Librarian
The Village by the Sea by Anita Desai – for mature 4th graders and up – Realistic Fiction- quite the powerful book, I couldn’t stop reading this one. I just loved reading the perspectives of children living on a quiet island where development of their area is inevitable with a fertilizer company moving in and how desolate a situation can feel. Additionally, the helpless feeling conveyed in the story with two parents barely helping the family survive was quite heart wrenching. The character devel ...more
Jul 11, 2012 Shilpa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed-books
This book 'fell' into my hands when I was snooping through my mother's possessions as a small child. The book was written in 1982, the year I was born. The copy my mother had, was already tearing, however I remember the beautiful watercolor on the front page was what attracted me. I was only 9 years old when I read this book :)I have it safe with me even now as it brings back beautiful memories.
13 years old Lila and her brother, 12 year old Hari live with their younger siblings Bela and Kamal a
May 30, 2015 Hulalah rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
I loved the book, the minute I read its blurb. I've always loved stories based on life long struggles and hardships. The plot was a great one; good enough to keep me glued to the book because I get bored very easily. The story began with Lila, (one of the leading characters), pondering over her family issues. She, together with her siblings struggle to better their condition. Based on the plot, the characters suffer great hardships. Lila and her brother Hari are the only source of bread and bett ...more
Ashim Neupane
Hari, the protagonist, is torn between going to Bombay in search for a job and staying with his three innocent sisters whose lives revolved around him. To make matter even worse, his mother has fallen sick and his drunkard father doesn't bat an eye. Anita Desai has done a wonderful job in depicting the struggles that young children have to deal with when facing the adult world. The main problem that I had with 'The Village by the Sea' is with the ineffective character development. Even though it ...more
Nov 21, 2012 Tanvi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm rereading this, and it's just as charming and simple and beautiful as the first time. I'm an Indian so I understood some of the customs and I HATE unhappy endings- I usually am so anxious for there to be happy one I skip to the end of the book to see if there is- so this was perfect. (view spoiler) ...more
Aug 19, 2009 Niraj rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is about an indian coastal family which is suffering due to the drunken father and a sick mother. Tha children- three sisters and a brother have to manage the house. The brother tries his luck in
Jayakarthigayan Sridharan
This book is really nice and very good narration of the life of village people and their hardship. All the natural scenery are portrayed very beautifully. Story wise it is a very light. Over all it is a good book to read atleast once.
Feb 10, 2014 Grumpy rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This was the worst book I have ever read, this book made me suffer through all of the floweriness and it wanted me to puke. The similes are BS and they make we want to die.

Ayesha U
Dec 25, 2009 Ayesha U rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
That's a sweet and inspiring novel for kids. I liked it!
Jan 02, 2008 Nisak rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
i read this book because it was compulsary for one of my courses during matriculation days.. huhuhu. even had the malay translation of this book.
Evelyn S
Jan 12, 2011 Evelyn S rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Read it as an assigment in colege, such a wonderfull story, a very clear language use, I love the way in which Anita portrays her culture, their problems, their struggles.... simple but beautiful.
May 14, 2009 Ala rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
So incredibly BORING i had to read it as an assignment for Literature class.
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Anita Desai was born in 1937. Her published works include adult novels, children's books and short stories. She is a member of the Advisory Board for English of the National Academy of Letters in Delhi and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in London. Anita Mazumdar Desai is an Indian novelist and Emeritus John E. Burchard Professor of Humanities at the Massachusetts Institute of Technolo ...more
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