Neha's Reviews > An Atlas of Impossible Longing

An Atlas of Impossible Longing by Anuradha Roy
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Oct 28, 14

bookshelves: read-2011, kwench, indian-english, ind-calcutta
Read from May 16 to 18, 2011

What if a book offers you all those things which you have read and liked.. .. that is what this book brought for me... a Bengali author, setting of 1920s India, serenity of rural Bengal, hustle-bustle and noise of Calcutta, old mansions, story of three generations, family feuds, partition and Hindu Muslim relationships and fading British era,... All this sounded clichés but the newness of this novel is what makes it unique. Each aspect, character and moment is so well thought and well phrased that it creates a scene from the old Satyajit Ray’s film.

The story moves from generation to generation and each generation brings with it its own set of aspirations, desires, dilemmas, challenges and fears. The will power of the patriarch to establish and run his business away from commercial and familiar comforts of Calcutta, loneliness of the wife who has never spoken a rude word in her life ending into unconscious bouts of abusing. The choice of a man between home or the desires of wandering and digging history, a dying mother and her legacy of a house and name to her child, the family of strangers with closer ties to those not bound by blood, the struggles of the orphan and the childless, the bonds of friendship and childhood memories. Growing up and leaving only to return. How life comes a full circle, how rivers change paths and cross paths of two strangers separating and meeting again.

The book has this aura of peace and soulfulness which touches you and leaves you with a heart warming feeling of leaving and returning, of loving and longing.
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