Jenny Twist's Reviews > Sari Caste

Sari Caste by Catherine Kirby
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's review
Jul 10, 2012

it was amazing

An Unforgettable Tale of India

Manasa lives with her family near Calcutta, the third of four daughters. Her father is a harsh tyrant, embittered by his lack of sons, who takes his revenge by abusing his long-suffering wife and humiliating his daughters. Manasa's only hope of escape is through marriage, but her hopes are dashed when her father arranges a marriage for his youngest daughter before her. In desperation she runs away to the city. But, intolerable as was her life at home, it is nothing compared to the horrors she finds waiting for her in Calcutta.

This is an exceptionally powerful and moving story, all the more emotive since it is based on real events. Ms Kirby is a wonderful storyteller and leads the reader with consummate skill into the steamy streets of Calcutta where obscene wealth rubs shoulders with the most abject poverty - and where everything is for sale.
I was gripped from the start as I followed Manasa into places I would never have dared to venture alone. Dreadful things happen in this story, but it is not all about misery and fear. It is about the courage and ingenuity of one young woman and, above all, the human capacity for love.

I shall not forget this story. It has the impact of some of the great epic dramas such as 'The Grapes of Wrath' and 'The Good Earth.' Ms Kirby is an author worth looking out for.

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