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Black Bread White Beer

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3.53  ·  Rating details ·  55 ratings  ·  11 reviews
Amal is driving his wife Claud from London to her parents' country house. In the wake of Claud's miscarriage, it is a journey that will push their relationship - once almost perfect - towards possible collapse.
Hardcover, 188 pages
Published September 2012 by Harper Collins
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Average rating 3.53  · 
Rating details
 ·  55 ratings  ·  11 reviews


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K.J. Charles
Holy crap this was good. I have been putting it off because it sounded honestly kind of depressing, but really. So good. I am writing this with blurry vision from sniffling.

It's about a couple at their lowest ebb, hurting themselves and each other, and about the experience of endless microaggressions and cultural clash and masculinity and how toxic it gets, and parenthood and the unacknowledged devastation of early miscarriage, all of which sounds terribly like a massive downer. but it really i
...more
J.S. Colley
Dec 01, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Literary Fiction Fans
Shelves: lit-fic

Black Bread White Beer is about a couple who have just suffered a miscarriage. It’s a short book. The story covers one day—the day the wife is discharged from the hospital.

What I like about this novel is it’s told through the perspective of the male. It’s an honest, raw portrayal of the narrator’s inner conflict. The reader sees his ugly thoughts, his confusion and hurt, as well as his compassion and sorrow.

To further complicate matters, theirs is a mixed race marriage, Amal is Indian and his w
...more
Pooja Pillai
May 31, 2012 rated it it was amazing
There is so much insight in this book - into the nature of marriage, it's many joys and perils, the burden of parenthood, the influence of race and culture. Most of us like to pretend that marriages fall apart because of major issues like infidelity or domestic violence, whereas the smallest things can sometimes hurtle an other stable marriage on the road to destruction.
There really isn't much of a plot: Amal and Claud have been trying for a baby, but Claud miscarries. This precipitates a crisi
...more
Angelique
If you do not like Govinden's writing style in the begining, you will not by the end.

Or rather I didn't. It's so dense, for being such a little book, it feels so long.

And I ADORED meeting Govinden and hearing him read. And tried to hear him read this as well.

It's remarkable the world he's created and the characters and the relationship. But it's so...dense. It's so heavy, it was hard for me to sorta figure it out.

Baba
Jun 17, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: literary-fiction
An Observer (UK) Book of the Year, translated from Indian, and set in Sussex(!). An English born Indian man and his Sussex born English Caucasian wife return to her parents home in Sussex, to try and come to terms with their miscarriage, but telling literally anyone about it. A clever book looking at marriage, families, trust and identity. Good read! 7 out of 12.
Brendon
Sep 20, 2016 rated it really liked it


See the original review here: http://gamingforjustice.com/2016/12/2...

Amal and Claud are married. They live in London and have a fantastic relationship and life. Together, they decide to have a child, but twenty-one days into the pregnancy, Claud has a miscarriage. The story begins here as Amal drives to the hospital to pick up Claud in order to drive to Claud's parent's house in the country for their scheduled visit. The entire story is about the drive down to the country, their brief stay with
...more
Anne
Oct 26, 2012 rated it really liked it
Black Bread White Beer by Niven Govinden is something of a voyeuristic novel. Spanning just twenty-four hours, the story follows Amal and Claud, a young married couple who are taking a trip into the country to visit Claud's parents.

Amal and Claud have been married for three years, they come from very different backgrounds, but share the same hopes and dreams. Yesterday Claud miscarried their first child. Today Amal is trying to come to terms with the alien-like stranger who sits alongside him in
...more
Parrish Lantern
Nov 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Amal’s recovering from the night before, where he allowed himself to get “stinking drunk” after leaving the hospital, his wife, and the now never to be born child of theirs. The ward sister had chased him out with well meaning remarks of support for his welfare and an understanding that he was in the way. It’s now the morning after this fracture in their lives and Amal needs to get to the hospital to collect Claud, his wife, and to make things right.

Black Bread White Beer explores the everyday m
...more
Deepak Nare
Jul 13, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Black Bread White Beer by Niven Govinden tackles one of the most important issues of human society, marriage, in a most subtle and passionate way.
The whole book wraps up in span of just a day; Amal Joshi is driving her wife Claud from London to her parents’ country house. Claud’s recent miscarriage of 21 days had down-hilled their already shattering marriage. Amal, a brown guy who converted from Hindu to Catholic; to marry Claud, a Britain brought-up white, is finding the still persisting diffe
...more
Suzi
Aug 31, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Brilliant. Mesmerising, beautifully written, haunting. So good I read it twice. A book to devour.
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