Monday, March 16, 2009


Rating : 2.5/5
Number of Pages : 324
Format : Fiction novel
Reason for Reading : Library Discussion Group, Book Awards II Challenge

The 2006 Booker Prize winner set in the foothills of the Himalayas and part of the time in New York. We follow Sai the orphaned gradaughter of the judge she lives with. He treated his wife terribly and disowned his daughter, but his one love is dog Mutt who he completely spoils. Living with them also is Cook whose son Biju has been sent to New York to find a better life.

Sai has fallen in love with her maths tutor Gyan and he feels the same until their world is shaken up by the Nepalese community uprising. Gyan is Nepalese and is torn between his love and his loyalties. In New York Biju is struggling to make his own way as an illegal immigrant. Back home all anyone wants to do is get to the West where everything is better, they can make more money and get ahead in life. Sadly things are very different from the perception and Biju has some terrible experiences living in a cramped basement and changing jobs often to avoid being caught out.

To be honest I don't have too much to say about this. I enjoyed the style of writing, but I wasn't really taken with the story. I wasn't too involved with the characters except the charming Mutt and I spent most of the book hoping nothing bad would happen to her. Desai was the youngest woman to win the Booker Prize, but I am not sure I would make the effort to read more of her novels in the future.

7 comments:

Vasilly said...

I've heard so many not-so-great things about this book. Great review!

Literary Feline said...

Thanks for your great review! I have heard mixed reviews about this one, but most often people do comment on how beautiful the writing is. I've been warned that it's not a plot driven novel and so when I read it, I imagine I'll have to make sure I'm prepared.

Marg said...

I read this a while ago, and was a bit disappointed in it as well.

Alice Teh said...

I'm usually very patient with what I read, but this one really got me closing it and chucking it one side after many desperate tries. I just can't.

mariel said...

Hmm, I didn't finish this one, though I really really wanted to like it!

Nymeth said...

Yours is definitely not the only unenthusiastic opinion, it seems :P

ayeshakhan said...

hi good to know the comment made this would be of some help to me as i am doing research on kiran desai's writings.well i do agree with u but to some extend i as being an Indian dofind some comparisions between the society she depicted in the novel