Bryn's Reviews > Sideways on a Scooter: Life and Love in India

Sideways on a Scooter by Miranda Kennedy
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Nov 02, 2011

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bookshelves: memoir, world-culture
Read from January 01 to February 15, 2012

Well that took me an embarrassingly long time to finish! Now before you write this one off with that comment, I must tell you that my attention span has taken a real hit from all the YA and fantasy I have been reading these days. "Sideways" is actually a pretty interesting read; it was just a challenge for me in amongst my other choices. Obviously, I need to work on that or I'll be missing out on some great literature.

Normally, I avoid history like the plague (pun intended), but because it was expertly wrapped in a good story, this time I was actually rather fascinated. For example, I knew there was a caste system in India but I had no idea how it worked. I was also surprised to discover that India recycles 50% of it reusable trash, while the United States recycles only 10%. While I applaud the environmental impact, the heartbreaking truth is that the poverty level is so high that slum dwellers often sift through trash to collect recycles for their cash value.

Yes, this portrait of modern day Dehli can be somewhat despairing (and justifiably so), but Ms. Kennedy does a good job of balancing that with humor and beauty. The author's Indian friends make interesting "characters," inspiring love, laughter, pride, pity and a host of other emotions as we follow them from their natal homes to life with their in-laws, from tradition to independence (and vice versa), and even from scrubbing floors to gossiping at the Ladies Fitness Circle.

If you enjoy travel memoirs or are curious about 20th century India, pick it up!
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Reading Progress

01/23/2012 page 26
7.0% "I really need to work on my attention span"
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