Rebekah Benson-Flannery's Reviews > Evening Is the Whole Day

Evening Is the Whole Day by Preeta Samarasan
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's review
Sep 11, 2009

it was amazing

I began this book as it was recommended by a friend, whose friend had written it. I now find myself unsettled, thinking back and mulling over the events I read about. This book is both sensitive and evocative. It centers on a particularly tumultuous time in Malaysia's self-fashioning. The family involved is broken, but its members do not realize that truth. What is most striking is the author's paean (ironic, in my jaded opinion) to American democracy and equality that ends the text. The callousness of the family members--how they harm each other, how they refuse to recognize such harm--and the peoples' blindness to the real problems of the poor are all (unfortunately) endemic here. I suppose everything is relative. I am now compelled to learn more about Malaysia and the history that has led to this beautiful story--one that has forced me to re-think my own ideas and expectations, one that will stay with me for a some time to come.
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