So my love for reading continues and here’s the latest update on what I’ve been reading with the hope that if you’re a bookworm like myself, you might go ahead and make my suggestion your next read 🙂
The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold
I read this in December and couldn’t put it down. It is a really simple and easy read and whilst it’s not riveting material, it’s a page-turner because you end up connecting with the characters on an emotional level. The plot involves the journey of a girl who is raped and murdered after death. So, no, it’s not a light-hearted story by any stretch of the imagination. It focuses on how a family copes with the loss of someone and how without answers, relationships are affected bringing people closer together. This book made me realise how someone’s absence can affect people and how important the unity of a family is when a loved one is no longer around. I just need to watch the movie to see if it matches up to the quality of the book!
A Suitable Boy by Vikram Seth
This book is exquisite. It’s beautiful. Anthony Cheetham, publisher of A Suitable Boy, called the Man Booker judges “a bunch of w——” for not shortlisting the book. Set in post-independence, post-partition India, the novel follows the story of four families over a period of 18 months as Mrs Rupa Mehra searches for a suitable boy to marry her daughter Lata. Lata has to separate the wheat from the chaff especially when she herself falls in love. I did find that even though the story is about Lata, the 19 parts focus on various other characters all interlinked, some of whom overshadow the search for Lata’s perfect partner.
This book is full of culture and tradition, giving a great insight into India and the partition as well as a beautiful introduction to Calcutta and the Bengali culture. I learned so much about Bengali people and the historical relationship between Calcutta and the British monarchy. There were so many things I walked away with! From the discovery of malaria in Calcutta to English poetry the novel is just brimming with gems. There was a moment where the novel literally took my breath away and that doesn’t happen a lot. As far as the ending goes, I’m not sure I was happy with who Lata chose but I understand why she did. I also keep realising how I hate political stuff in novels. The book has a fair bit in it, but it wasn’t too off putting.
It took me 6 weeks to finish off (with a week where a bout of flu hindered my reading), but it really is a book that is worth every stretch of your triceps (as it’s 1349 pages long). I can’t wait for A Suitable Girl to be published in 2016! Also looking to read more of Seth’s fine work.