A Five Star Pick
This novel has stayed with me for a long time. There is such a strong focus on how differences in the social ladder can disrupt a friendship between two people. This was one of the first books I had read that takes place in contemporary India. It opened the door to a new world that made me appreciate Indian literature. It also made me realize, unfortunately, that poverty and social classes are still relevant topics in this world today which seem as though they will not disappear any time soon. There is such an aching feeling that we get when we read about how Bhima is treated by Sera and Sera’s family, after an unexpected twist that creates a mess between the two ladies. Perhaps it is even more sad because we see how their relationship develops throughout the story and how long they have known each other. Umrigar’s tale also gives us a lesson in choosing who to trust—friend vs. family member, and finding out how reliable a person can be. Sometimes friendships are more trustworthy than bloodlines—and this message is clearly seen, though ignored by Sera. Another issue in the book is about traditional roles of women in the culture and how they are expected to act in certain situations (whether it is right or wrong). A very poignant read.