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An Indian Alchemy: Gods, Girls and Men [Kindle Edition]

Barry Wenlock
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £8.56
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Book Description

A tale of three women and their struggle for freedom in the ‘Man's World’ of modern India.

Priti, a successful lawyer, seeks a new life in the south after being gang raped in her Delhi apartment. Sangita is a village girl from Rajasthan. She is forced to flee a brutal and loveless marriage and seek shelter in Delhi, where she finds a job as a cleaner. Tara is a Nepalese school girl who is rescued from the horror of a Delhi brothel and returns to Nepal in search of her brother.

Their paths may never have crossed, but for the brutal actions of men.

The women’s experiences are reflected in the deep ocean of Hindu mythology that surrounds them – a mythology that condemns and fears women, and at the same time venerates and worships them.

In this story of sisterhood, sexual politics, discrimination and empowerment, the women transcend tradition, break taboo and attempt to live their lives with dignity despite all that has happened to them.

But be careful. She is watching; the goddess who is both the beauty and the beast. You see, it is the hour of Sandhya, and nothing is certain in the dusky half-light.


Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 371 KB
  • Print Length: 212 pages
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00BBKEFCW
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #521,194 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Author of 'An Indian Alchemy: Gods, Girls and Men' and 'Little Krishna and the Bihar Boys', Barry is now working on his next work, 'A Short History of Silence', which will be published later this year. An avid reader and writer, he is also partner in an adventure travel company specialising in mountain walking, and has spent over thirty years travelling throughout the Himalayas and India. As well as writing and reading, he loves walking (of course), photography and dogs.

Customer Reviews

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4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
By ChrisI
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
There is an almost surreal feel to this impressive book with its close intertwining of Hindu myth with the stark reality of women's lives in India. The book tells the story of three very different women whose lives are all warped by the sexual violence they encounter.This is in some ways a challenging read but the stories soon develop in a way that compels the reader to confront the destructive truth of the what is being said and to care deeply for the women involved. The localities where the book unfolds are well known to the author and beautifully described but it is clear that though much of the detail is linked specifically to the places described yet the attitudes to women which lead to such catastrophic outcomes in fact transcend both place and time. Although the action carries the plot along almost inexorably the end still manages to surprise and shock.
The explicitly sexual passages may not suit everyone but are firmly in the context of developing the themes of the book and explaining fully the courses taken by the women concerned.
The author is a man but one who has seen and confronted the ugliness of violence against women in India and Nepal and is prepared to take a stand against it. For anyone interested in modern India (warts and all) or who wants to better understand women's lives in the Indian subcontinent this book will well worth a read and perhaps a re-read. Above all, it is a good story which transports the reader into the minds of sisters with very different lives from their own.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully written 13 Mar. 2013
By Lola
Format:Kindle Edition
I got so much from this book. For a start it is beautifully descriptive and gave me a real feeling of India. Wenlock chooses his words carefully and paints the scene so well. The three female characters were intriguing and came to life for me. Their stories are cleverly interwoven with Hindu legends and philosophy, of which I know little but enjoyed so much.
What really struck me is that this novel is written by a man who courageously, put himself into the minds and emotions of women who have suffered violence, and he achieves this with great sensitivity. Indian men are not depicted in a good light, and I hope that this story will generate some serious thinking about male attitudes.
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5.0 out of 5 stars everyone should read it 13 Mar. 2013
By viv
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I saved this book to read in India and I became immersed in the reality and the culture. The stories of the three women are both heartbreaking and joyful and the interweaving of the religious thread is clever and engrossing. I wanted to read it again immediately because there was so much to absorb. There are lots of funny observations about life in India and Nepal that are particularly amusing if you're actually there! Excellent.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Impressive Stuff! 12 Mar. 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
As a regular traveller to India I was highly impressed by this book. Mr Wenlock weaves a very tight, enjoyable and informative narrative alternating between the god-myths of India, Nepal and Tibet and the stories of three women - Priti, Sangita and Tara - whose traumatic shared experiences bind them together and help them fight against the stifling restrictions of both gods and men. It is an epic work, told my a master story-teller, and I'll be returning to it again and again.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Awesome 26 Feb. 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I confess to waiting awhile before I wrote this review-- contemplating its contents and reading others first!
This Kindle book is certainly an alchemy of the old and new.

The old --myths and legends of the Gods,that we in the west have not grown up with, but still has such a bearing on the culture of India, and is perceived to be of such influence on the values of this life and the next in its balance and purity.
Of which there is maybe much that we could learn from, but do we in the West,through travellers tales and tourism romanticise much of this?

The new --the disturbing chemistry of Indian families as projected on to the lives of three women all from differing caste backgrounds ( one of them from Nepal) and now very relevant with recent reported events of the rape of women and children in India today.
Although this has been present in Indian society for generations, with a dominant male society and higher female infant mortality rate.Yet another story!
However it was not until 33% through this book that I felt compelled to turn the page, reading further into the lives of these three women, because of the sadness I felt for them in their courage in the face of such harshness thrust upon them in their search for enlightenment into a life (by our standards anyway) which was to be so unfulfilled.
But turn the page I did and would recommend others so to do though I cannot describe it as an 'enjoyable' read, but certainly an informative and reflective read with much to think on afterwards.
Will a visit to India ever be the same?!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating. 26 Feb. 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Thoroughly enjoyable read I.like the authors style . Very informative with regards the various Gods ,nice touches of humour and beautifully descriptive
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