vani's Reviews > Evening Is the Whole Day

Evening Is the Whole Day by Preeta Samarasan
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Feb 01, 2009

it was amazing
Read in February, 2009

Being someone who grew up in a "Tamil diaspora" family, I was intrigued by this book. The novel is set in Malaysia, much of it in the late 70's and early 80's. Before reading this, I knew very little about Malaysia. The plot involves the stuff of family drama: migration and aspiration, forbidden loves, extramarital affairs, a mysterious murder, but it's written in such a dreamy (without being airy), complicated, and detail-sensitive way that it really works. The book also includes a child who regularly talks to a ghost, frequent references to Wind in the Willows, quotes from Simon and Garfunkel songs, history of Malaysian anti-imperial and socialist movements, and a lot of diglossia/codeswitching that is SO MUCH FUN if you know any Tamil (and also if you know Malay, which I don't). By the end it is also very devastating and depressing too and makes me feel that there is a lot that is wrong with the world and it leaves me worried about evaporating dreams. So now I need to read something to give me hope.
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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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message 1: by Rukshana (new) - added it

Rukshana Vani, this book is on my list! I totally want to read it. Apparently, the audio version is supposed to be really good. I love Frog and Toad! Those were my first books...

vani thanks Rukshana! audiobook you say? that sounds exciting. so i got that detail wrong...i guess the references are to Mr. Toad from wind in the willows. i'm not sure how i confused those, talking toads both, but different personalities for sure...

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