The Hero’s Walk by Anita Rau Badami

hero-walkAnita Rau Badami does an excellent job depicting the modern day life in India (I literally felt like a tourist submerged into the environment except there was also a good story and I didn’t have to physically travel anywhere). It focuses on one family, but a lot is tied into that one family’s journey: neighbours, traditions,  and daily routines.  Another interesting twist is the switching back and forth between Canada and India – this contrast is often very vivid (actually, just like everything in Badami’s book). You will feel the heat and smell the dust, or hear the rain gushing during the monsoon period. Fans of descriptive language will be thrilled with this novel. The drawback, to some people, it may seem longer than necessary at some parts of the book – but, tastes are just a matter of opinion.

One of the main characters in the novel is a 7 year-old girl, Nandana, who loses her parents in a car accident and has to go to India to live with her estranged grandparents. Nandana’s grandparents are internally suffocating from emotions of: grief, regret, uncertainty, failure, and frustration as they try their best to build a new life for their grandchild and fix up their own ones along the way. (Submitted by Mariya)

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Sophia: princess, suffragette, revolutionary by Anita Anand

This was a fantastic biography with great writing. It was super interesting–I absolutely loved it! If you want to read about an interesting life, this is a great choice. Sophia was born into Indian royalty and raised in an English palace. She surprised everyone when she returned to India as a revolutionary battling injustice.  Highly recommended. (Submitted by JF).

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The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy

The God of Small Things is a remarkable debut novel from Arundhati Roy, an Indian author who won the Man Booker Prize for this very work. This book is a story of a family caught in the middle of social and political change. More specifically, the story follows two estranged twins who are recalling a childhood incident that tore their family apart and changed their lives forever. The narrative jumps back and forth between present (1993) and past (1969), which helps build a sense of suspense, tragedy and dread. The language is beautiful – sometimes I had to stop just to enjoy the poetry of a paragraph. The characters are complicated and well-drawn, which for me is a must for any family drama. There are also many historical details that give an interesting perspective on India’s complicated recent past. Highly recommended.  (Submitted by Naomi.)

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