Sheryl's Reviews > Climbing the Stairs

Climbing the Stairs by Padma Venkatraman
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's review
Aug 25, 2010

it was ok
bookshelves: historical-fiction
Read on August 25, 2010

The premise of the book sounded very interesting and I did enjoy the description of India as a British colony during World War II. However, I found it difficult to really like the main character. She seemed at once both too modern (I kept forgetting that the setting was WWII and not the 21st century) and too shallow. She feels great guilt for what happened to her father but does little to alleviate this guilt. She feels bad for her mother but doesn't often try to comfort her. She believes in non-violence but frequently gets mad and 'rages' at her brother and Raman. I just found it hard to like her and sympathize with how 'hard' her life was when I could compare her Brahman circumstances with the surroundings and lives of the poorer classes in India's streets. Vidya seemed very judgmental throughout the entire book without really ever undergoing a transformation and 'growing up'.

This book has, however, made me want to learn more about the jewel of the British empire. Overall the book was not terrible but not particularly gripping.
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