Jaanaki's Reviews > Evening Is the Whole Day

Evening Is the Whole Day by Preeta Samarasan
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really liked it
bookshelves: anaquarianslibrary, fiction

The story is set in Ipoh in Malaysia and it follows the domestic drama that unfolds in the family of Lawyer Rajasekharan who live in the Big House located on Kingfisher Lane.The lawyer lives with his wife Vasanthi,his mother, children -Uma,Suresh and Asha and a maid Chellam who is the same age as Uma.The story begins a week after Uma has left to the US and the family is in the process of kicking Chellam out of the house.And thus begins the narrative that goes backwards to tell the reader what happened within the four wall of the big house that leads to the Exodus of Chellam.
Preeta's Samarasan prose is descriptive and beautiful. The narrative is intimate and after the first few pages , we are part and parcel of the Rajasekharan family. This is essentially a story about family and the mean little games the members play with one another because I think most of us know that poisonous feelings in a family generally don't disappear overnight .They may be camouflaged with flattery,unexpected good deeds and false words of kindness with an inner urgency not to
spoil family functions.But these poisonous unspoken vibes sit quietly in a corner like a tiny snake feeding on every unkind word ,action ,and jealousy ,where it grows and grows into a huge serpent unable to lie quietly in the corner which strikes and brings down victims usually the innocent ones who don't know how the game is played . Preeta Samarasan has done justice to all the characters and you can feel Pati's shrewdness ,Vasanthi's helplessness and Uma's disappointment and anger .All embittered women as correctly declared by Asha.Oh, but Asha 's yearning for love and a mother replacement is the saddest because she actually suffers for no fault of hers and she has no route to escape like Uma.The way Preeta has discussed the Malaysian riots in 1969 and integrated it with the story is exceptional and she brings out the cultural disparities and differences in Malaysia ,a country that is a pot of different ethnicities blended together in striking fashion.Don't miss this if you love good writing ,a domestic drama and a story set in Malaysia.
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Reading Progress

December 30, 2017 – Shelved
December 30, 2017 – Shelved as: to-read
May 15, 2018 – Started Reading
May 21, 2018 – Shelved as: anaquarianslibrary
May 21, 2018 – Shelved as: fiction
May 21, 2018 – Finished Reading

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