I was looking forward to reading this, yet I was terrified of reading it. Turns out I shouldn't have been.
This single tells the story of Baby, a youngI was looking forward to reading this, yet I was terrified of reading it. Turns out I shouldn't have been.
This single tells the story of Baby, a young woman who was allegedly raped by 13 men in an Indian village as punishment for... "loving the wrong man," according to the description. I would add, loving a married man? Loving a Muslim? Having sex without being married? Being "rich" in a village of fairly poor people?
Turns out, the story isn't quite so black and white. Is it ever, really?
This short book gets into a bunch of issues - issues about women's standing in India, issues of culture and comparison within Indian society, and - something I wasn't expecting - the big issue of being a tribal community in a country where you're seen as less than, where your rights are being trampled by people and companies trying to exploit the land and the people.
No, definitely not black and white.
Unfortunately, I thought the story a bit lacking. I didn't connect with Baby, the main character, or any of the other people, on an emotional level. It felt like a removed, intellectual distance that the author kept from everyone. I think I can understand why she maybe tried to do that - you first want to take Baby's side right away (as did tons of national and international media) but as you learn more you realize it's not so simple. And maybe Faleiro tried to keep that distance because she didn't want to side with any particular person, to show those shades of grey. But for me, this made the writing feel a little flat.
Nonetheless, I'm glad to have read this story and will be looking to learn more, not just about this incident, but about the broader issues that were raised in this (too short!) single....more
Putting out these teaser samplers is a great idea for publishers, especially as it can whet the reader's appetite and leave them wanting to know whatPutting out these teaser samplers is a great idea for publishers, especially as it can whet the reader's appetite and leave them wanting to know what happens next. Five non-fiction book samplers were part of this collection and I want to read at least 3 of them! Here are my thoughts.
Irritable Hearts: A PTSD Love Story Written by someone who's suffering through PTSD after covering the effects of the Haiti earthquake, this one had me intrigued starting with the description, and the excerpt didn't disappoint at all. Just the short amount in this sampler was enough to tell me that this is going to be an intense story. I was getting into it and it was over so soon. Definitely adding this one to my reading list!
The Battle of Versailles: The Night American Fashion Stumbled into the Spotlight and Made History The concept is somewhat interesting - French designers versus American designers - and how the Americans became known for haute couture. But let's be honest, this is so way beyond my cup of tea. I couldn't care less about fashion so I can't imagine ever picking up this book. The first chapter, with its lengthy descriptions of fashionable ladies and the designers they worked with and... on and on. It was so boring to me. But again, this is not something I'd ever care about so I can see someone else really appreciating this.
The Skeleton Cupboard: Stories from a clinical psychologist Holy shit. I don't even know what to say here. Each of these book samples (except the one) become more and more gripping. I used to be really interested in psychology/psychiatry when I was younger so I can see how this would appeal to me. But overall the subject is really interesting - trying to figure out what makes us humans tick. I need to get my hands on this as soon as it's out!
Year of the Cow: How 420 Pounds of Beef Built a Better Life for One American Family I thought this one wouldn't appeal to me, considering I'm a vegetarian, but the writing style was fun and the author funny, so surprisingly, I enjoyed this sample. The whole concept of knowing your food and where it came from is interesting to me, and even though I'm vegetarian myself, I don't have a problem with others around me eating meat. So while I wouldn't be interested in the recipes, the concept of this book is definitely interesting, and the way it's written doesn't hurt!
Note: I received this collection from Netgalley....more