Saturday, September 27, 2008

Inhearitance of Loss

Title: Inheritance of Loss
Author: Kiran Desai
Pages: 357
Yearly Count: 60
Awards: Winner of the Man Booker Prize 2006

I have been searching for this book and didn't even know it was this book I searched for. I wanted a book of daily details, of life of the people of India, a book that would be not so much filled with Indians who live outside of India, but of those who are there. I know this is a novel, and that it is not fact. I also know that I fell in love with the small details of India, the way tea is prepared, the way the pastries and food are rambled about, the words used to display affection, desire, and hate. I loved the storytelling qualities of Desai, working little every day Indian details and descriptions up into a stunning form of art. I was interested in the story, the plot, the characters and in a dream-like way immersed in a culture so far away.

The Inheritance of Loss is a book that follows several different people, their thoughts and dreams laid bare to the reader, they are vulnerable and real. The silliness of the wealthy is shown, placed in obvious display of ridicule...which I found endearing, and at the same time sad in many ways. Desai filled her novel with current (when it was written) details, of uprisings, protests, violence and how the general joe lives. I haven't found a better glimpse into the society of India.

I have read several books about India, or mostly about Indians, I have read Interpreter of Maladies, The Namesake, Karma and Other Stories by Rishi Reddi I am not sure this is my favourite, because I really did like The Interpreter of Maladies, but it is about equal with that read for me. I enjoyed it because it was different, a deeper portrayal, a darker glimpse, and one of those who stayed in India. It filled in answers, explained rivalries, and political issues...I really did enjoy it. I will say that sometimes I found it a little hard to follow, or at times slow. It is certainly worth a read though :) enjoy.

Other blogger reviews:
Wendy at Caribou's Mom
Gentle Reader at Shelf Life

Have you reviewed this too??? Let me know and I will link to you :)


Ramya said...

i've been meaning to read this book for the longest time.. and recently, it totally slipped my mind.. so you di like it huh? maybe i should pick it up soon and read it.:) if you want to have a look at the darker side of living in india.. like the poverty and things like tht.. you should read books by rohinton mistry.. first, A Fine Balance..and then, maybe, Family matters.. both are really really good books..a little sad but still good:)

Red lady-Bonnie said...

Great Review! I have this book on my TBR shelf and am a fan of Indian Literature. Interpreter of Maladies is a favorite of mine as well. This sounds like a wonderful book and I look forward to reading're review has me wanting to read it soon!

Have you read Bitter Sweets by Roopa Farooki? I enjoyed this book and did a review on my blog here:

bethany said...

ramya- I do own those two you mentioned. Have you read them? I have heard that they are really dark, so I have been putting them off. I think you should read this book, Desai is an EXCELLENT writer I enjoy the way she words things, the way her thoughts are written down.

bethany said...

red lady-bonnie- I NEED to read Bitter Sweets!!!! I got it from LT early reviewers and need to get it read, as I should have already done that. I have heard that that one is pretty light, so it would actually probably be a good next read for me. I am currently reading Immortal...oh goodness, it is so heavy and it is historical fiction!! (more on that later :)

Red lady-Bonnie said...

Ramya-I tried reading A Fine Balance when it came out several years ago. It was a bit dark and I was okay with that until I read one violent death scene which gave me nightmares. That has never happened to me before and I put the book down and never finished it. I have heard that Family Matters isn't as dark.

Bethany-I read and reviewed Bitter Sweets through Library Thing also. It is definitely a lighter read! Are you reading Immortal with the Literate Housewife Book Club? I am also and just picked up my copy from the library. I just haven't been in a literary fiction mood lately but I will start it soon.

Dar said...

Great review Bethany. I have this on on my shelf to read-just need the time to get to it.

I love Rohinton Mistry's books. He's one of my favorite writers. I'll have to look up the others that have been mentioned-they sound good too.

gautami.tripathy said...

I love your new header!

I bought this book some two years back and yet to pick it up. One day I will...

bethany said...

red lady-bonnie- yes I am reading Immortal for Literate Housewife book club. I am about half way, but I think I will let it sit for a little while.

Dar-Thank you, I am glad you liked it. It is certainly a memorable read.I will need to read A Fine Balance now too :)

gautami- thanks. Yeah, you'll have to let me know what you think when you get to it :)

Anonymous said...

it is in my to-read list :)

I will let you know!

between I am from India :)
I am truly touched by your interest in India :)

Take care!

Wendy said...

Great review. I also loved this book. My review is here.

bethany said...

veens- Oh, it is a great read, worded with great care to detail....Yes, you MUST let me know when you get to it!!! :)

For some reason India has always captured me. I think for many different reasons, all about the people and their lives. Some day I hope to travel there.

Wendy- Thanks for sending me your link!! I have it up and running :)

Ramya said...

bonnie - i read bitter sweets through LT as well.. it was a light read and it was easy to read, but somehow it didnt really stick with me. you should try family matters. it is definitely lighter than "a fine balance" but still dark nevertheless..:)

bethany - i love how your comments page has become quite a discussion room..:) i shall definitely read desai's book soon.. in fact, i am going to see if my library has it right away..:) give rohinton mistry a shot.. if it is too ark for you, you can always put it down right?:)

and let me know when you plan your india trip..i shall make sure i am there as well;)

Mrs. B. said...

I have this book in my (ever growing) pile of TBR's. I have to get to it!!!

Anna said...

Sounds like a great book! I've added it to my list (like I really needed to add another one, but what the heck). Have you read anything by Bharati Mukherjee? She was the first Indian author I read back in college.


Trish said...

I've heard mixed things about this one but I'd still really like to read it. If The God of Small Things doesn't get voted in for October you really need to put it on your list to read soon--it is such a beautiful story.