Though unstated in her acknowledgements, the writer was obviously inspired by the true story of Sufiah Yusof, a mathematics prodigy who entered Oxford at the age of 12 in 1997, only to run away three years later, claiming she had been emotionally abused by her ambitious father.
In the book, Rumi is the maths genius daughter of Indian immigrants who is coached b ...more
Such are the joys of teaching in the overachievement capital of the country. As the well-heeled and the big-brained dive back into schoolwork this month, I wish they (and especially their parents) would take a break to read this arresting new novel by ...more
It brought up some painful memories from my childhood. And it helped me assess my extreme ...more
I think this book wanted to be about the parents, Mahesh and Shreene. They both had more inner conflict than Rumi would have realized. Mahesh proba ...more
Rumi, daughter of Indian immigrants in 1980s Wales, is a gifted child. Not a prodigy, one who start publishing astrophysics papers at 12, but a merely "gifted" child who skips high school. The trouble is, her father doesn't know, or care, what the difference is. And so he puts her through a Spartan mathematical training regimen that would put every Tiger Mother to shame, demonstrating the superiority of Hindu wisdom against Western decadence. Rumi, meanwhile, isn't allow ...more
I enjoyed this book, although having read about so many immigrating to the UK/USA - children born abroad being different from the parents stories now, I don't know whether I am getting a bit of overkill on this theme. I have to admit I really got going with this book part way through when she was a te ...more
Regardless, it was a horrible book. Complete rubbish. There seemed to be no real plot or point, besides the main characters genius status in the area of math, and how this impacts her. Which we never really know, because all we ever read about is her studying, kissing a guy onc, then studying some more. To be fair there’s stuff about being a child of indian immigrants in Wales, but it was h ...more
Rumi is 5 when she is identified as a gifted mathematician. A label that takes over her life, her thoughts and her family. Mahesh, Rumi's father, channels all his immigrant insecurities into making sure that Rumi is his proof to his adoptive country. The proof that his rigid belie ...more
Gifted is a book of extraordinary range; it is touching, tender, funny and at the same time truly compelling. It covers the issues of duty and family loyalty, and the demands of an extraordinary talent, while holding at its heart the story of a young girl struggling with the agony of first love and her own, very particular, identity. Above all, it has a wonderfully bittersweet charm and for that reason Desmond Elliot...more
At age 10, she sees a news report about an 8 year old who's just done their math O-level. She could do that. She wants to do that. In fact, she's a little ticked that the 8 year old beat her to it.
Her father grabs a hold of this dream and subjects Rumi to a rigorous study schedule. All math, all the time. Nights? Weekends? Math.
Their goal, their dream, is to attend Oxford by age 15. Mahesh wants ...more
For me, this book was a sort of validation of the feelings and problems I had when I was a teenager. If it weren't for that, I wouldn't have loved it so much, but I think it's still a great book ...more
In this penetrating coming-of-age debut from London-based Lalwani, 14-year-old Rumika Vasi struggles to fulfill her mathematical gifts and her family's demands on them, while also finding friendship and romance. Rumi, labeled gifted in kindergarten, becomes subject to the grim home teaching of her father, Mahesh, a professor of mathematics at the University of Swansea in Wales. The goal: to be accepted to Oxford by age 14. Shreene, Rumi's mother, resentfully accepts the hous ...more
Immediately the book “The Namesake” by Jhumpa Lahiri and the movie, “Bend it Like Beckham” written and directed by Gurinder Chadha came to mind, both sharing some ...more
With quite an uninspiring title and zero buzz around it, it wasn't likely that I'd have picked this book up anytime soon. But given that it's in this year's Booker long list (whatever that's worth), and considering my growing fondness for Indian literature, I gave it a shot in the dark.
Having read it, I'll say the book scores heavily on originality. But more importantly, it possesses a rare emotional power that makes it both a heartbreaking and deeply affective read on several counts. Also, it' ...more
This is a book that I'd expected to like from the blurb, but I didn't really hit it off with it.
It's all about Rumi, a supposedly "gifted" mathematician, who takes her O and A Levels early and is aiming to get to the University of Oxford at an early age spurred on mostly by her father. I liked Rumi and found her family to be pretty convincing characters but, perhaps because of my own maths degrees, I never found the school background to be very realistic.
I found the end of the book, where - thi...more
Rumi's father is obsessed - he wants his daughter to reach greatness and is so rigid in his controlling behaviour - which becomes extreme to say the least.
Rumi does love maths and numbers and can make them almost beautiful in the way that she sees the numbers in her head.
Gifted is set in the 1980s and Rumi and her family travel h ...more