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In the Convent of Little Flowers

3.72 of 5 stars 3.72  ·  rating details  ·  492 ratings  ·  63 reviews
Bestselling author Indu Sundaresan presents a candid and stunning collection of stories about contemporary Indians and the cutting-edge issues surrounding them where ancient tradition and modernity can often clash.

A young woman who was adopted by an American family in Seattle receives a letter from Sister Mary Theresa, nun at the Convent of Little Flowers in Chennai where

Hardcover, 216 pages
Published December 16th 2008 by Atria Books (first published December 4th 2008)
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Athisaya Divya
I am a big fan of short stories and quick reads and I liked this book - In the Convent of Little Flowers . Some short stories are intense and mostly talk about lives of Indian women and the struggle they undergo. What was refreshing and interesting about this book was that each short story talks about a different issue and is set about a different class or society in India. Coming from South India, I could relate myself to some of the situations.

Indu Sundaresan's writing has a different persona
I just finished many present-day trips to India in the pages of Indu Sundaresan's brilliant new short story collection: IN THE CONVENT OF LITTLE FLOWERS (Atria Books).

The fabric of these stories is silken, the flow of language itself transports the reader. Though the stories vary in time and place, all of the striking stories take unflinching looks at human relationships. All explore the question of human value.

In "Shelter of Rain" A young doctor, Padmini Marrick, receives a mysterious letter fr
I cannot believe I am giving a book of short stories four stars. I am most definitely NOT a short story person. But these won me over.

I ended up with this book because I ordered it on Paperbackswap, and somehow it escaped my attention that it was a collection of short stories. So once I owned it, I had to read it! It was my first book by Indian-born Seattle author Indu Sundaresan, but it will definitely not be my last.

The stories--most of them about the lives of Indian women--were heartbreakingl
After reading The Twentieth Wife by this author, I found this collection of short stories and bought it... WOW, glad I did! Every story was different and fascinating. There are some pretty sad and depressing stories, but all were really well written and insightful.
I love indian writters.Nevertheless Indu Sudaresan was grown up in the USA, her delightful way of writting amuses me.
Kelly McCloskey-Romero
Wow. Story after story about awful events in India. Pettiness, greed, reactionary attitudes, and disappointment all collide to cause pain to all or most of the characters. There are very few rays of hope. It's well written and compelling, so hard to put down, but ultimately so depressing that it gave me a stomachache. I've read my fair share of tragic stories about India (a Fine Balance is a fine example), but these stories take every bad thing I've heard about India and wrap the country in mise ...more
After the first story, the three that followed after were horrifying and super depressing. Sadism, murder, torture, rampant victimization, betrayal or inaction of bystanders who just go with the flow/tradition no matter how wrong it is.

If you want to subject yourself to some dark (but well-written) reading material that will make you question your faith in humanity, then I recommend at least having a unicorn chaser on standby. As for me, life is tough enough without having to rage against fictio
I assumed this would be stories about the convent or the orphanage, but instead, it is another sad book with stories about people who do not value family and the consequences. A depressing book that leaves you thinking about your own values and the consequences of choices you've made in the past regarding your family. What are your values? Is your family more important to you than your religion or your traditions?
Je ne m'attendais pas du tout à des nouvelles aussi fortes, aussi coup de poing ! La première histoire en tout cas ne laissait pas du tout présager un tel panel par la suite ! Mais chaque nouvelle est prenante et poignante et surtout très dures ! Beaucoup m'ont touché et vont me rester pour un bon moment. Une très belle plume que je recommande !
Random browsing landed me on this book.. I havent heard of the author and thought will just pick it up and i am so glad i did. In the Convent of Little Flowers by Indu Sundersan is a heavy book, yet the book doesnt weigh on you.. A collection of short stories which deal with various issues like adoption, old age, selfless love, jealousy, lust. It reminds you a little of classics as the author beautifully outlines the emotions, the set up.. Like she mentions " The intense moment" a person feels a ...more
Oct 25, 2011 Nags rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: short story lovers, indian fiction lovers
While reading the book, I kept forming words in my head to review it. Now that I am done, all I have are the visions that keep coming and going from the different stories. All of them are set in India, mostly the South, and they are strong. It felt like drinking a double strong shot of espresso and then you realise that the espresso you have been drinking so far was just not strong enough. The author has mentioned in the afterword that most of the stories were inspired by true incidents, and tha ...more
Indu Sundaresan is, as promised on the back cover of "In the Convent of Little Flowers," a gifted storyteller. Each short story in this collection is sharp, unexpected, insightful, and startling. Although I am more of a novel person than a short story person, I highly recommend this. I gave it three stars because of my general ambivalence towards the short story format, but in all honesty, there is nothing I would change about this book. It's like a whirlwind tour of India itself: you get to tak ...more
I don't usually care for short stories, but I loved this collection. Indu Sunderasan is indeed a gifted storyteller. I shall be reading her novels soon.
The first two or three stories were really good but the rest just went from bad to worse. I think this is the second substandard Sundaresan book that I have read.
I enjoyed most of the stories, but was often left feeling there should be more. I didn't know when I picked up this book, that it was short stories
This book was a series of short stories based in India. It was a little depressing for me. I would have loved to have had a few more happpier stories mixed in with the depressing ones. Some themes that I found most prominent throughout the stories were greed, elder abuse, and of course women being treated like chattel. Not my favorite topics, however, it was an easy and fast read. I don't think I would recommend this book but I understand the novels that the author Indu Sundarsan wrote are quite ...more
Sundaresan weaves some pretty dark stories here filled with ghosts from the past, the modern clashing with tradition and even a tale of something other worldly.

Three and a Half Seconds is probably the saddest one of all as Chandra and Meha meet their end in such an unexpected and painful way.

All the stories are full of hurt and pain and that can make it hard to really enjoy the book but in the end it's all an honest look at how the generations change and treat the generations before them.
Tragic, heartbreaking, and beautiful. I usually don't care for short stories, but I didn't want to put this down. I highly recommend it as an insightful, beautifully written quick read.

"Do you notice, as you go through life, how many people think they have a say in it? How many people give you advice for various useless reasons? They've lived longer; they know better; they are just smarter."

"When freedom comes too easily it is not valued..."
Indu Sundaresan is definitely one of my favorite authors. After reading this book, I remembered why I loved her writing so much. She has a knack for pulling the reader in and not letting go until you're finished; and then you're wanting more. This collection of stories was a perfect example of that, especially since there are so many different types of stories that will get you thinking. My favorite story was "Fire" and second was the title story. ENJOY!
Michaela Evanow
Couldn't finish it. A terrible read. Clunk, piecemeal Indian literature. Don't waste your time on this collection of short stories. They are depressing, with no hope, and Indu Subndaresan's style does not impress me. I've read a lot of books by Indian authors, have lived in India, and can stomach a depressing read, but these stories were just hard to follow and boring.
Mar 05, 2012 Amanda added it
Shelves: dnf
I couldn't do this one. It gets a DNF (did not finish). It's short stories and I think I read three and two were TERRIBLY depressing, and the first one was pretty depressing. I just couldn't do another one. Of course Sundaresan wrote them beautifully and it saddens me that I'll miss out on her amazing writing because of the sad stories but I just had to stop.
Oh dear me, you're no Jhumpa Lahiri, are you? But you really wanna be. Get thee to a writing class, my dear. Or maybe just stop trying so hard. (Forgive me for being harsh, but then you did go and make such a spectacle of yourself, what with all of the east-meets-west, already-been-done-before-by-authors-so-much-more-talented-than-you-so-why-even-go-there schtick.)
Indu being one of my favourite authors,I bought this book of short stories..This was unlike most of her other historical fiction novels..I liked most of the stories..loved the title story..They are well written and Indu’s writing style takes you to that era ..I am now proud to have read all of Indu’s books and now eagerly waiting for her to write more!

beautiful writing but I didn't like the stories.
Diane Luzar
This book of short stories regarding India's ancient cultures and how they can still affect Indians of today was so well written. Yes, each story is sad and even violent at times but the way the author writes with such descriptive prose made me turn each page enthusiastically. Her writing alone would make me want to read more by her.
Anne-Marie Hodge
This is a collection of dark but very moving stories, and it does an excellent job of portraying the difficulties of confront major changes in life, whether they happen suddenly or progressively. It reminds me very strongly of Nathan Englander's story collections, albeit set in India rather than in Jewish communities.
Rajeshree Vejasegaran
In the Convent of Little Flowers by Indu Sundaresan comprises of several short stories that potrays the life of Indian women today who are struggling to preserve the ancient traditional believes while embracing modernism in India and abroad.

Beautifully written with tragic and painful ends.
Nice writing but each of these short stories felt like the agonizing climax to a longer story. They were all so overwrought that it was hard to enjoy them, especially reading them one after another. I should check whether this author has any novels so the drama could be interspersed with more lighthearted material.
These amazing short stories give a brief glimpse into some of the darker, perhaps unspoken, topics in India...elder abuse, sati (when widows burn themselves alive on their husband's funeral pyres), child brides, sexuality...I could have read these forever. Strongly recommend.
Mary-Michelle Moore
As with any book of short stories some were wonderful and some were less so. I liked most of these stories, though the time traveler was very strange. I don't know that it was necessarily the fault of the story so much as it's inclusion in a book of realistic fiction.
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Indu Sundaresan was born in India and grew up on Air Force bases all over the country. Her father, a fighter pilot, was also a storyteller—managing to keep his audiences captive and rapt with his flair for drama and timing. He got this from his father, Indu's grandfather, whose visits were always eagerly awaited. Indu's love of stories comes from both of them, from hearing their stories based on i ...more
More about Indu Sundaresan...
The Twentieth Wife (Taj Mahal Trilogy, #1) The Feast of Roses (Taj Mahal Trilogy, #2) Shadow Princess (Taj Mahal Trilogy, #3) The Splendor of Silence The Mountain of Light

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