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Small Days and Nights: A Novel

3.64  ·  Rating details ·  228 ratings  ·  71 reviews
A captivating and original story of family, of the ties that bind and the secrets we bury, set against the vivid and evocative backdrop of modern India

An Irish Times Book of the Year 2019

Escaping her failing marriage, Grace has returned to Pondicherry to cremate her mother. Once there, she finds herself heir to an inheritance she could not have expected – a property on
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published January 21st 2020 by W. W. Norton Company (first published April 18th 2019)
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Rakhi Dalal
“It is in the little towns that one discovers a country, in the kind of knowledge that comes from small days and nights.”

------James Salter, A Sport and a Pastime.

I have always been intrigued by the human desire to find a meaning in life. To me, this desire is reflective of the human wish to push comfortable boundaries in search of the values that may present a basis upon which the rest of life may be lived. This yearning to engage thus may turn the exploration into something life altering.
Vivek Tejuja
Apr 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Small Days and Nights had me break into a sweat for most part. I fervently turned the pages, wanting to know what would happen next to Grace and Lucia, to their dogs, and Mallika. For most part, I was on the edge of the proverbial seat so to say, and for the other part, I was mulling, thinking, pondering, and submitting to Doshi's writing and worldview.

I recall going through the same feeling of angst, hopelessness, and some hope while devouring The Pleasure Seekers in 2010. It has been eight
A hippie dandelion in flight. . .

You know there are some people when they stumble upon comfort, stability, enduring happiness, or such reassuring things, they look at them closely for a minute, cherish them, and then for some inexplicable reason take the other road. This book is about such a girl. I'll remember her as a girl (not a woman) who wasn't fated to find the proverbial anchor but instead a perpetual disillusionment and absurdity that would lift her away into a strange lonely blue sky.

Apr 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Baring a striking resemblance to Mani Ratnam's movie Anjali, Small Days & Nights is simply extraordinary. At its heart, this melancholy masterpiece addresses the drama family secrets and apparent betrayal can cause when revealed and feels so heartbreakingly close to true life. On hearing of her mothers passing protagonist, Grace leaves her adopted American homeland and returns to put her affairs in order back in Madras. Starting her life effectively anew Grace delves into her past and that ...more
Apr 23, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Grace’s story isn’t extraordinary but it’s definitely thought-provoking. After a failed marriage and the death of her Mother, Grace returns to India with only one goal- to meet Lucia, her sister who was probably the most well-kept secret of her family. Lucia suffers from Down’s Syndrome, a conditions that make her dependant on others for day to day activities.

When’s Grace’s father refused to raise Lucia with the notion that they were inefficient in caring for a differently abled child, her
Considering many other good reviews for this book I feel really bad. Maybe it is only me, perhaps I am too old for this book written mainly about younger people in India. Found it really boring, none of the characters could keep me interested. Believe theycwere bored with/by themselves. Don't know is it the style of writing or annoyance with the main character (and others), a young, non-working woman, no emotions what so ever, received unexpected inheritance, looks (in a way) after her retarded ...more
Pooja Singh
"We raise our heads to the sky as if the sea was a window and we were climbing out of it."
- Tisha Doshani, Small Days and Nights.

Having had a normal childhood, born to parents of Italian and Indian descent, Grace finds herself in a small coastal village of Paramankeni, running away from her failed marriage and having found her sister, Lucia who was born with Down's syndrome and was kept a secret from her all these years.

Escaping the restless and highly active social life in States, grace decides
Harshita Gupta
Small Days and Nights is a story of Grace, who returns home from the US for her mother’s cremation only to find out after her death that she also has a sister of whom she never realized had an existence. Lucia, her sister was spending her life in a residential facility after her parents abandoned her being a down syndrome child.
Grace decides to live separately from his husband in the US and brings her sister home to live a life with her and a pack of dogs, a life of which she herself was not
Krutika Puranik
Mar 28, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Small days and nights.
Thank you @bloomsburyindia for sending over this beautiful book.
The cover is what drew me in. A free-spirited woman with three dogs accompanying her, depicts a lot of things and when I finished this book, I knew exactly what the cover was trying to say. Small days and nights is a book that talks about the feeling of home and the people you build one with. This is the kind of writing that I truly enjoy, something that reminded me of Jhumpa Lahiri and Arundhati Roy. For
Chitra Ahanthem
Apr 12, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Small Days and Nights by Tishani Doshi has Grace at the center of things: she is the narrator and it is through her that readers are compelled to contemplate the world she inhabits. Set in 2010, the book shifts back and forth from the time she comes back from an unfulfilling life in the US to Paramankeni, a tiny coastal village in Tamil Nadu for her mother’s funeral. If this premise makes readers look for grief and looking at lost time and ties, you couldn’t be more mistaken. There is none of ...more
Sruthi Sahasranaman
While the mixed reviews surely confused me, I definitely wanted to read it. I am glad, I did. It may not be for everyone who thinks a lot about the little things from your childhood and how it shaped you into the adult that you are today. It is poetic and devastating at the same time.
The story begins with Grace, the daughter of an Italian man and a Tamil Catholic woman settled in Chennai. She has these vivid memories of her childhood and how it's made her feel empty and void upto her adult
Zainab Fatima
Apr 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"Small Days and Nights" by Tishani Doshi is an exceptional, a sheer abyssal and a prodigious book. It touched me to the core holding a myriad of ecstasy.

This is a story of Grace who returns to Pondicherry for the cremation rituals of her mother. Soon after the funeral, she unravels some secrets left by her mother and discovers that she has been bequeathed a strange pink house by a beach in Tamil Nadu and a sister, named Lucia about whom she never knew. Lucia, a girl who suffers from Down
Gayatri Saikia
May 01, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Review : Small Days and Nights by Tishani Doshi pursues the story of Grace, who returns home to Paramankeni, a small coastal village in Madras after her failed marriage in America and upon hearing the sudden news of her mother's death. What makes Grace's story special is that it is ordinary.

Having had a normal and almost happy childhood being the only daughter of her parents, Grace is stuck by a blow when she learns that she has a sister back in India, who was kept a secret from her and the
Dec 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: giveaways
I won this in a goodreads giveaway. Page turner
Fathima Ashab
"The noise comes from the centre of her, and I feel it pulling something out of me -- unreasonable and insistent".

This is a story of two sisters. One with Down's syndrome and the other who is trying not to drown herself in her failing marriage. Grace returns to Pondicherry to cremate her mother and there she comes to know that her mother has left behind a property on the beaches of Madras and a sister named Lucy with Down's syndrome for her.

On that property, she finds a new life for her and her
Nov 21, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a touching story of the extraordinary devotion which the protagonist Grace feels for her disabled sister Lucy. At other times throughout the narrative, Grace comes across as a selfish, domineering young woman which is not to be wondered at as you become aware of her life story.

Small Days and Nights takes place in an extraordinary variety of settings - modern day United States, India and Italy; Tishani Doshi has succeeded in making these locales vibrant, contrasting and absolutely vital
Dec 18, 2019 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: gave to Jan
Recommended to Linda by: Book Browse
Shelves: owned, arc, paperback, 2019, fiction
I love books that take place in unfamiliar cultures, but I did not love this book. Basically, a female version of Rain Man, I never empathized with the main character who finds out about her institutionalized sister with Down Syndrome until after there mother's death. Only 261 pages, I should have read this in 2 or 3 days instead of the 11 it took.
I was always okay when I was reading the book, but I had no drive to get back to it when I wasn't.
And I wish a glossary would be included with books
Areeb Ahmad (Bankrupt_Bookworm)
"We raise our heads to the sky as if the sea was a window and we were climbing out of it."
RATING: 4.75/5
It is quite evident that Doshi's mastery of poetry extends to prose as well. Small Days and Nights is a fascinatingly captivating read. Tishani builds a seamless bridge over troubled waters but the calm exterior masks relentless turbulence with small instants of stillness. There are passages of startling rawness and vitality which evoke vibrant emotions. Sections where Grace describes the
May 22, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What do I say about this book?

There are a lot of things I could say… But I would only say this that the story of ‘Grace and Lucia’ is mine. It seems as if, it was written solely for me.

The raw emotions in this book choke me. Renders me speechless.

Opening Lines: My sister Lucia. How strange it is to say the word.

There came a time in the book when I wanted to scream out in pain of Grace. The utter loneliness, the insecurities she felt were so real, that I wanted to console her tell her that I
Shreya Vaid
For some people, coming back home is not the same happy experience. It’s about uncovering lies and facing challenges that your parents never prepared you for.
Same is the story of @tishanidoshi new protagonist, Grace. After her mother’s death, Grace returns home to find that her mother has been hiding a secret from her: A sister named Lucia who’s been kept in an orphanage for children with special needs. She adopts her, brings her back where she belongs and with her sister, she also
Anusha Poddar
Mar 29, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Anukriti Malik
Grace was born to parents from Italian and Indian descent. A failed marriage and the sudden news of her mother’s demise brings her to India. Upon reaching here, a deep secret is revealed to her – Grace has a sister, Lucia. Lucia was born with Down Syndrome. and their father refused to raise her citing that they weren’t well off enough to raise a differently-abled child. Hence, Lucia was sent to an institution that raised her up.

With her mother dead and her father away, Grace decided to take the
Jan 16, 2020 rated it liked it
Troubled relationships are at the core of this book and it talks about how the dictates of the society we live in and human needs sometimes take precedence over our love and affection for a dear one. was one novel I picked up last year but couldn't complete precisely because of how profound it is. Picked it up this time with a goal to finish it.

Small Days And Nights' is a story that talks in the garb of talkimg about one woman talks about many and speaks volumes about what life is like for an
May 29, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: review-copy
'Have you never lost anyone, then?" But it's Ma's voice.

This book makes you miss your family and the places you grew up in. It is about a woman Grace, who came back from a failed marriage in America to Pondicherry to cremate her mother. Suddenly, she discovers that she has a sister, Lucia, with Down Syndrome and she has been in special-care home for all these years.

'We'll always know each other, Grace. We'll always be in each other's lives.'

'No we won't. you'll fall through. One day I won't
Grace's old self ended when her mother passed away. And following her cremation, she did what adults have the opportunity to do. Create a new life for themselves, with a new family, friends and backstory. In forging her new identity, Grace also delves into her past: discovering who her parents were, what their lives were like, and about the sister she never knew she had. The book presents the memories and current life of Grace, in a set of brief memories, arching backwards and forwards through ...more
Diane Payne
Oct 19, 2019 rated it liked it
I wish there wasn't a star rating system because sometimes a book rates 5 stars, then nosedives into the 2 zone, then back up to 4, before settling into a 3. Sometimes the rating seems more how you felt when the book ended than how you felt throughout. This is a relatively easy read, and mostly pleasant, except for when the books shifts in time and the transitions aren't always that clear as to where we are with Grace, our main character. It wasn't until the end of the novel that I realized she ...more
Sulagna Mondal
Apr 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned-books
Full review on

This book is like a song. It starts out with a rush, then there's a bridge in the middle, a slowly creeping sadness, and then it rushes again, but this time with a built up plot and ends in a beautiful harmony. Tishani Doshi has created a sad masterpiece, her writing style forged with melancholy, of childhood and adulthood.

Tishani Doshi sketches out the unceremonious life of Grazia/Grace. Grace, born in a biracial family, her father being
Rutuja Ramteke
May 08, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Small Days And Nights By Tishani Doshi
Escaping her failing marriage, Grace has returned to Pondicherry to cremate her mother. First, there is the strange pink house, blue-shuttered, out on a spit of the wild beach, haunted by the rattle of fishermen in their catamarans. And then there is the sister she never knew she had: Lucia, who has spent her life in a residential facility.
Well, well, well, I am finally sharing my opinion on this amazing book. The book is all about Grace who is strong girl,
Jan 04, 2020 rated it liked it
Grace is a troubled character, who has survived the break-up of her parents' marriage and indeed of her own brief marriage, and the dislocation of trying to settle variously in the United States, Italy and India. It's in an unlikely corner of the latter that she finally creates a place she can call home - an ordinary sort of house near a nondescript village, alongside one of the many endless beaches in Tamil Nadu. She settles there with her dogs, her disabled sister whom she has rescued from a ...more
Ronak Shah
Apr 03, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Small days and night
Starting from cover it looks awesome. It's attractive and eye catching. It shows exactly what the story holds. Our protagonist Grace's mother passed away and she try to understand relationship of her parents. She did exactly what everyone will do at that place. She started finding herself about her family and so on. She don't even know she have a sister.

Book basically talk about Grace's memory and current life situation. Book shifts many time in past and current situation.
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Tishani Doshi (born 1975) is an Indian poet, journalist and dancer based in Chennai. Born in Madras, India, to a Welsh mother and Gujarati father, she received an Eric Gregory Award in 2001. Her first poetry collection, Countries of the Body, won the 2006 Forward Poetry Prize for best first collection.[1] She has been invited to the poetry galas of the Guardian-sponsored Hay Festival of 2006 and ...more
“But it is difficult to rewrite the story of your life, especially when you have been telling it one way for so long.” 0 likes
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