A People's History of Heaven
Welcome to Heaven, a ...more
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Format: Print book
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Availability: 20 copies available, 1896 people requesting
Giveaway dates: Mar 25 - Apr 24, 2019
Countries available: U.S.
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A diverse group of women are living in a slum named Heaven in Bangalore, India. Heaven is a hidden building in between other fancy, new high rises in an urban area of the city.
The community of strong women calling Heaven home are mothers and daughters “left behind” by men because of the search for a male heir. The women are destitute, not knowing where their next meal will come from. On top of that, the city regularly th ...more
Heaven is a slum in Bangalore, named for the Sanskrit word left on a broken sign, the word for heaven, and it is where the stories of these families take place. There are eighteen people of note in this story, but the primary focus is on five girls on the verge of womanhood who attend the local government school.
Banu is an artist, her grandmother, her ajii, one of the original residents of Heaven; Deepa, who is visually impaired, is a dancer who doesn’t attend the s ...more
an exceptional story drenched in culture and hope!
Mathangi Subramanian has intricately woven together the threads of these five girls lives into a beautiful story. Five extraordinary girls living in a slum called Heaven in Bangalore India. Now a slum is probably the furthest thing from heaven for most of us, but I think these girls might beg to differ. Surrounded with friendship and love these girls were an impenetrable support system for one another. There was so much beauty in how uncondit ...more
Our modern spoiled-brat me me me and things to buy days nee ...more
"If you're a girl in heaven, you don't get out much. Too many eyes watching you.
There are people residing in Heaven. There are young girls with dreams, with hopes. There are their mothers, their Auntys, their fathers who look to each other f ...more
I received this E-ARC via Algonquin Books and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
Trigger warning: Mention of bullying. Homes being torn down.
I was really looking forward to reading this! I saw that synopsis and knew I had to request it. Unfortunately it wasn’t for me.
I really didn’t like the writing style. I’m sure it gets better. But I could barely read a paragraph.
When we enter Heaven, we meet a varied group of girls and their familie ...more
Thus far, I have had the most phenomenal year of reading. I am somewhat new to reading diverse books so this has been the most amazing surprise!
Set in Bangalore, India we follow in first person narrative five schoolgirls who call a slum their home. The slum is a community made up almost entirely of women who were discarded for who they are or for not being able to live up to the standards of men. It is nestled between high-rises and has a damaged sig ...more
The local women rally to fight it. We get to know some of these women, each distinctive, but the true focus is on five girls, each with different circumstances, including one with adult-level responsibilities, a visually impaired dancer, and a trans girl.
The writing is graceful, vivid, the narration swooping into each girl in intimate space, then outward again to paint the community. The grim side of poverty and its cost are not sent ...more
A poor lowly slum in Bangalore, hidden behind the city high rises. Houses physically built from scrapes. But the homes built with love. Five families - five young girls, well almost - who fight to live in this squalor they call Heaven, as bull dozers nosily idle nearby, waiting for a chance to grind up what little they have.
This book reminds me so much of Amy Tan's Joy ...more
There are a lot of characters in this book. I mean a lot. At times, it was hard to remember who each one was, but there is a guide in the book. I was reading the earc, so I wasn't able to just flip back and forth. But I would have done that with a physical book and it would have made a big difference.
Each chapter ...more
“It’s not easy to be a girl. But trust me, my dear. It is much, much harder to be a woman.”
Hey guys! Do I have a treat for you today! This review is going to be so great because I legit loved this book and cannot thank my friends over at Algonquin enough for offering this ARC to me!
Early on, we girls learn that life owes us nothing, that womanhood is a spectrum of nuisances, heartbreak, and tragedies.
A People’s History of Heaven centers around five young girls who share stories of love, loss ...more
You have to know English isn’t my first language, so feel free to correct me if I make some mistakes while writing this review.
Real rating: 3,5 stars.
We’re in Bangalore, India. Decades ago it was called "the market" or "the town" but then globalization and technology came, followed by the western mentality based on money and expansion and now Bangalore is something that eats it ...more
Two to two and a half stars.
A People's History of Heaven is an odd book in that I didn't find it to be plot-driven or character-driven. It is populated with too many characters and I had to repeatedly refer to the list of The People of Heaven to keep all of them straight. The plot is non-linear and jumps back and forth in time, typically without any demarcation or preamble indicating that a shift has taken place. Furthermore, ...more
I am in awe of all the female strength, love, and energy Mathangi Subramanian brought to life through 5 teenage living in a Bangalore, India slum. As their slum is about to be bulldozed to make room for fancy high-rises, these girls will do whatever it takes to protect the place they call home.
While the plot the book is centered on is dire, the true focus of the narrative is on the friendship and bond between all the women li ...more
The writing style for this is very unusual and was very hard for me to get into, but still, I persisted. All the lives of the characters are interwoven and make each of the characte ...more
I loved this story so, so much. Thank you to Algonquin for my review copy.
This novel centers around the lives of 5 young girls who live in Heaven, a slum located in Bangalore, where the lives of girls are often only as valuable as the men who might marry them.
There is so much to unpack with this novel, too much to do here. This book is primarily about Indian women, but the author also covers themes of family, marriage, friendship, class, education of women, gender and sexual fluid ...more
The characters were so well depicted and developed. We get to know Heaven because we get to know the characters so well; this is a people's history, after al ...more
Mathangi Subramanian is a writer to watch. This young woman has an elegant voice; and it will be so exciting to listen to it develop.
I voluntarily read and revie ...more
The foreign lady clutches her camera so hard that the skin on the top of her knuckles changes color. Which is funny, because when we close our fists, our skin stays exactly the same. Like our bodies are already the color of crisis.
Well that was a lovely surprise. This book was a random library grab (I'm a sucker for a pretty cover!) and I'm so glad I took a chance on this one!
‘they say mothering makes you strong. turns out daughtering does too.’
this book really just swept me off my feet. i’m sitting here, having just finished it, thinking about the power and strength within each of the women in this story. with their community being faced with destruction, turmoil, and loss— they stand together, continue to support and build up one another, protect what is theirs, and always ensure they are safe and cared for. i’ve never read a book that w ...more
A People's History of Heaven is a rich, poignant river of poeticism that pulls you slowly and irresistably through the lives of five remarkable girls and the women surrounding them. This is one of the best books I've read so far this year, and I give it five stars without the slightest reservation.
Where do I ev ...more
From the publisher's synopsis: A politically driven graffiti artist. A transgender Christian convert. A blind girl who loves to dance. A queer daughter of a hijabi union leader. These are some of the young women who live in a Bangalore slum known as Heaven, young women whom readers will come to love in the moving, atmospheric, and deeply inspiring debut, A People's History of Heaven.
Heaven is a slum in Ban ...more
This book is a gem such as you’d find in a Joyalukkas window, sky blue, parrot-tail green. It’s the story of us. Really. It says so. It’s like that San Francisco-based folk group from the Sixties, We Five, a kind of e ...more