Breath taking, intriguing, entertaining and a totally gripping novel by Alice Albinia. This book is a tale about Leela who returns to India from New York, where a perfectly balanced life is being threatened to disintegrate. She has a past, her sister 25 years ago had been seduced by Vyasa. Now Vyasa is preparing for this songs wedding and Leela’s presence threatens to disrupt the harmony. What is intriguing is Alice Albinia has choosen Lord Ganesha to narrate the tale, a very unlikely Sutradhar I would say, maybe that is what sets the book apart from the very beginning! It is Ganesh who is directing the events in the book, in a bid to save his beloved protagonist as opposed to the family who is
What I absolutely enjoyed was the fact that the book is generously peppered with references to the Mahabarata which is very crucial to the Indian culture and to the academic society. You can easily identify to Delhi’s social scene which is marked by academic infighting and cocktail party conversations. The global appeal to the book is what would make anyone from any part of the world Albinia’s book greatly. The book makes you question a few questions that as a woman i have asked myself secretly but would probably never admit to, being a feminist. I ask myself just how much will women endure? But one of the prominent themes that kept reoccurring is the difficulties faced by women writers while trying to disentangle oneself from cultural and societal gender expectations.
A very well written book, something that will touch your heart. Totally unputdownable!
Pick this on a Sunday afternoon in bed!
My rating is a 3.75/5
This review is for Random House India; however the opinions expressed here are my own.