Charlotte's Reviews > The Toss of a Lemon

The Toss of a Lemon by Padma Viswanathan
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Aug 09, 08

bookshelves: best-of-the-best, india
Recommended for: everyone
Read in August, 2008

This novel will inspire all kinds of insipid comparisons to other Indian-diaspora writers, and I don't really understand why they chose to use the terrible Yann Martel blurb about "getting through" it, and they shouldn't call anything a "saga" anymore, people haven't the patience for it.

BUT ANYWAY: I loved this book. I am tempted to read it again from the beginning, all 600+ pages of it. I wished it had kept going. I wished it would never stop.

It follows Sivakami and her extended Brahmin family over some sixty years, and the details! the food! the rituals and delicate magical realism! somehow it all combines to create a world that made me feel homesick and exhilarated and completely absorbed. I loved everything about it, all the characters both good and evil. I could have read it forever. well, okay, for a good long time.
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Comments (showing 1-4 of 4) (4 new)

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Krystyn your comment/review inspires me. i'm only on page 12 but it has been torture just getting that far. I really want to stick with this book, but 600 more pages is a lot....gonna keep reading for now.


Allison I'm about halfway through and I'm loving it too. I also love your Yann Martel comment (I like his writing but he often comes across as a bit of an asshat) and the saga remark.

I thought the toss of a lemon was a cooking reference. I love the image of the lemon flying through the window when the baby is born. (Your kid is out. Have a lemon.)


Charlotte Thanks, Allison. I love that image of the lemon as well. Of course in America it's more like, "Your kid is out. Have a bourbon." Thank goodness for cultural differences.


Allison Amen to that. Of course, it's less amenable to being tossed out the window (or maybe not).


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