There is no doubt this was a well-written book - Desai packs each sentence with deep thought and an elevated vocabulary. The characters are fleshed out and really come alive as you read. However, she covers the text with Indian words, some of which I've never seen; and given her sentence structure, it is impossible to pick up their contextual meaning. I lost a lot of delight in the book because of that.
A theme Desai touched on well here was injustice - is it right to hurt and steal from those whom you consider "too good" or "too bad" in the name of enforcing justice? One of the examples of this, near the end of the book, made me so angry I had to stop reading and come back to it. I was so worked up that my husband made me take a Clonazepam. I dare you to read the book and *not* feel that way.
If a book can evoke an emotional reaction from its reader, then it's worth the read. Stick through the first 50 pages, it gets better. Recommended for a patient reader who doesn't mind getting worked up.
Four stories of the lives of very different characters. I was saddened by the conditions they found themselves in, but hopeful that each would find happiness.
I found this a very difficult read with many foriegn words, but it is also a winner of the Man Booker prize 2006. Not for light summmer reading.
Desai uses language beautifully to give the reader a vivid image of life for these characters in India. You can feel the dampness from rain, smell the mountain air, taste Cook's odd concoctions from her words. The beginning is slow and I, personally, was saddened by the ending, but it was still worth reading. If you have lived or traveled abroad, this may give you an opportunity to see your culture through the eyes of another. 2006 Booker Prize Winner. Recommended.
Lyrically written but I felt like I needed a degree in Indian history to really understand the dynamics of the characters.