Karla's Reviews > The Inheritance of Loss

The Inheritance of Loss by Kiran Desai
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's review
Sep 03, 2009

really liked it
bookshelves: new-york, india, man-booker-prize, 2010, audio
Read from April 08 to July 19, 2010

This was my first audio book thanks to a friend who loaned it to me, the narration is beautiful. I also had the book I would read alongside it. Honestly it was a hurdle in the beginning and took me a while to hit the ah ha moment to what I was digesting. Because of the sensitive matterial and the harsh brutal life. But I feel it was real and awakening. Dispite the fancily overly described writting (By the end I came to appreciate)it is a must read for better understanding of what is taking place in other parts of the world and a better understanding of Indian culture. The author is very witty and it is written in a non conventional way that blends suffering and ironic humor skillfully. Built with a colorful strong cast of complex characters struggling to identify themselfs as they lose their grip on decency and dignity while trying to survive.
This story takes place in two areas. In India we follow a retired unpleasant, imbittered Judge and his upper class household in the village of Kalimpong by the foot of Mount Kanchenjunga, Himalaya during the Nepalese insurgency that took place in the mid eighties and his orphaned teenage niece Sai settling into life there while she tackles a tricky unrequited love with her tutor Gyan from the lower class. Judge also has a cook who works and lives there who has a grown son named Biju. Biju has left to create a better life with his fathers life savings to the United States. Biju is exposed to the harsh life of being an unwelcome immigrant and being taken advantage of by the wealthy capitalists. Working overly long hours, paid badly, living inhumanely, discriminated everywhere he goes. He soon longs for even the desperate life back home with his father. At home there is a hopeless caste system where Biju faces near bottom and doomed for no success. The stories of all the characters really paralleled eachother. My naivete to the Indian caste system was illiminated so I really felt this was an eye opener. Makes me appreciate that from no matter what class we come from in the United States we have an oppertunity to make a better life out of nothing if we put in the work.
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04/08/2010 page 133
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message 1: by Glenda (new) - added it

Glenda I just found this at the library today. Are you enjoying it?

Karla I was listening to the audio version but I can't seem to concentrate on audio unless I'm alone in the car or home alone. I have teens and there is just nowhere to listen to it by myself. I have picked up the book so I can finish the story I have learned a lot of Indian culture and many roots of why many have left India for a better life in America very interesting what many believe life here would be like. Very beautifully described details.

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