I picked this up on a whim, hoping for an easy read as a break from some of the heavier stuff I'd been reading. I couldn't have picked a worse book! WI picked this up on a whim, hoping for an easy read as a break from some of the heavier stuff I'd been reading. I couldn't have picked a worse book! While it certainly is an easy read, it's still a weighty one. The stories told in the book are not light at all. I think I would have enjoyed it more if I hadn't been approaching it with the intent of reading something light. In short, good but difficult at times to read of the unfathomable situations people (especially women) deal with every day.
I looked for a web site of hers to see if there were any updates on the stories of the people she was following and came across the controversy surrounding the book. Apparently the bookseller sued her and has written his own life story. Made for interesting reading....more
One of the things that sets me at odds with a piece of literature from the very beginning is the feeling that I'm missing all sorts of narratives justOne of the things that sets me at odds with a piece of literature from the very beginning is the feeling that I'm missing all sorts of narratives just under the surface. This is incredibly frustrating to me, and I did struggle with this book and wonder if I was missing some major themes. When I was finished I certainly wasn't raving about it, but as time goes on I've found myself marveling over a number of this book's elements.
Overall I loved Roy's gorgeous use of language. I also really liked some of the modifications she made to words to reflect a child's way of thinking and thought it pretty brilliant. Throughout the course of the book I came to really enjoy Estha, Rahel and Ammu as characters.
Every so often she'd offer a really sharp insight into themes surrounding colonialism and politics and this was one of my favorite aspects of the book. I thought she plotted it very well to illustrate these themes and also the countless number of things that can go into the making of a single event. A few people had expressed annoyance at how she goes back and forth in time and the way it is not always evident at first. I actually thought it really appropriate, especially to the mood of the book - that the events that occurred are still very much with the 2 of them as adults, as if they are reliving them in a way.
Other times I wasn't sure if she was employing symbolism or just using an element because she felt it was a good description. I'm pondering a reread to see if I can pick up on some of the things I felt I missed.
I'd also like to highly recommend listening to the BBC's World Book Club interview with her about the book....more