Pearl's Reviews > Climbing the Stairs

Climbing the Stairs by Padma Venkatraman
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really liked it
bookshelves: miller-ya-group

The novel “Climbing the Stairs”, may not start out as an exciting story, but when you consider the period in time (WWII) and the country (India during the occupation of the British government), I was able to become interested in this young woman’s life and that of her family relation. Her father Appa was not the “traditional” Indian father figure at that time; meaning he was more understanding of how women and the non-Brahmim class were treated. He considers caste system as a “social evil”. I believed women should be treated as “equals”; he would permit his daughter to go to college same as her brother, Kitta. When Vidya’s father was seriously injured, the family was forced to move into her grandfathers’ household with extended family members. Vidya’s life was turned upside down. Vidya’s and her family were treated badly by some of the extended members, but her grandfather, Thata, allowed her to “climb the stairs” to the upper level of the house to “enjoy” the library; up until now that privilege was reserved for the men only. This story has a tender and realistic climax; I would recommend this novel to anyone interested in reading about a young woman from a somewhat vintage society; how she was able to cope and succeed while remaining true to her convictions.
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Reading Progress

October 4, 2012 – Shelved
Started Reading
October 8, 2012 – Shelved as: miller-ya-group
October 8, 2012 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-2 of 2 (2 new)

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Pearl The novel “Climbing the Stairs”, may not start out as an exciting story, but when you consider the period in time (WWII) and the country (India during the occupation of the British government), I was able to become interested in this young woman’s life and that of her family relation. Her father Appa was not the “traditional” Indian father figure at that time; meaning he was more understanding of how women and the non-Brahiam class were treated. He considers caste system as a “social evil”. I believed women should be treated as “equals”; he would permit his daughter to go to college same as her brother, Kitta! When Vidya’s father was seriously injured, the family was forced to move into her grandfathers’ household with extended family members. Vidya’s life was turned upside down. Vidya’s and her family were treated badly by some of the extended members, but her grandfather, Thata, allowed her to “climb the stairs” to the upper level of the house to “enjoy” the library; up until now that privilege was reserved for the men only. This story has a tender and realistic climax; I would recommend this novel to anyone interested in reading about a young woman from a somewhat vintage society; how she was able to cope and succeed while remaining true to her convictions.


message 2: by Pearl (last edited Oct 08, 2012 01:42PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Pearl I really enjoyed this historical "hard" novel, Vidya was a strong personality considering her culture's view of a woman's place in general.


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