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One Hundred Shades of White Hardcover – 3 Mar 2003


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins (3 Mar 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007143451
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007143450
  • Product Dimensions: 21.8 x 14.2 x 3.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,590,943 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"A heart-warming read about families, forgiveness, carving futures and filtering truth." Guardian

‘She writes evocatively about childhood and there are passages of tight and lyrical immediacy…Moving description packs a powerful punch in this book about family, forgiveness and the power of truth.’ Guardian

‘A great read. Fast, funny and full of life’ Shyama Perera, author of ‘I Haven’t Stopped Dancing Yet’

‘Luscious’ Oxford Times

‘A genuinely moving novel…like the bottled spices that play such a role in the story, this has all its ingredients in just the right quantities to spirit away all negative emotions.’ Daily Express

‘[This book] will have you praying for a delayed train’ Glamour

‘A warm-hearted tale of survival’ Bookseller

‘A dynamic author.’ Good Housekeeping

Coverage for GYPSY MASALA:
‘A little gem of fiction…a mystic and beautifully lyrical book’ New Woman

From the Publisher

Preethi Nair was Winner of the Young Achiever of the Year at the Asian Women of Achievement Awards, 2001.
She was also shortlisted for Publicist of the Year at the PPC awards, following her audacious campaign for her self-published novel, GYPSY MASALA. Preethi created an alter ego and generated a huge amount of interest as Preu Menon, top promoter of first-time novelists

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 22 Sep 2005
Format: Paperback
I was attracted to this book, partly because of the media hype surrounding the extraordinary means to which the author had to go to get her first novel published; and partly because I welcomed the refreshing concept of a story centred around an Indian family in the UK who were from the south of India in general, and Kerala in particular. The glossy book cover enticed me, decorated with vibrant pictures of iced biscuits and cakes.

Overall, the book was enjoyable and descriptive. One could almost hear the sizzling of mustard seeds and green chillies, and inhale the pungent aromas of lime pickle.

Ms Nair's style of writing is of a good standard, albeit inconsistent. It was interesting to read about the same events being visualized alternately by Nalini and her daughter, Maya.

There are elements of magical realism in the book, although not always convincing, and nowhere near on the scale of such great magical realists as Gabriel Garcia Marquez.

I had hoped to find something different from the standard themes followed by many writers of stories concerning Asians in Britain, assuming that references would be made towards the southern mentality, and its well-educated people. (It is, for instance, a known fact that Kerala is India's only state with a literacy rate of 100%) However, Ms Nair chose rustic villagers for her characters, coming from conditions rarely to be found in 21st century Kerala.

The characters are well-developed: Nalini displays moxie, as she struggles in a foreign land with an alien culture and language to adapt to a new lifestyle, after her husband has abandoned her and their children.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 21 Jun 2005
Format: Paperback
I was recommended this book by Amazon and the title in particualr was what attracted me to it.
Basically it's a tale about a family emigrating to England, but things go pear-shaped when the father betrays them and settles in America, leaving a young mother and her two children to fend for themselves in a somewhat hospitable yet hostile London. It particularly focuses on Maya's take on these events and how it shapes her life from her education to relationships until she returns to her roots in her own individual way.
I found the way the author set the chapters out; from the perspective of Maya (the duaghter) and then Nalini (the mother) quite an intersting read. But be warned there's a lot mentioned about Indian food (mainly herbs and spices) and sometimes I was just second guessing at the meaning of some vocab. Although this imagery is often appealing, I found it a little tedious how every emotion and event seemed to encompass vivid culinary descriptions! Often its comic, for example descriptions of Maya's step gran.
Overall it is a good read for immigrants and natives of any land. It gives some familiar and indepth descriptions of the plights and saving graces faced by such communities and also touches on the values of family, friendship, forgiveness, love and suchlike.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By mcs on 6 July 2004
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Having read gypsy masala which in a way motivated me to follow my dreams and go travelling around australa I've waited with anticipation to read this next book from this talented writer.
The book in many ways mirrors the multi angled view of the story approach that gypsy takes, but this time, its more flowing, its more natural, and the style actually now works very well...
I can easily identify with maya as some of the things that are talked about will make most 30 somethings feel a bit sentimental and reminiscent.....
The book manages to hold your attention throughout......
Can't wait for her next.....
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By triciastewart-author of Calendar Girl on 25 Feb 2003
Format: Hardcover
what an amazing story. the characters, colours, spices and the depth of feeling are incredible. The skill of the author draws the reader into the cleverly woven plot through the eyes of the main characters. This is a book to be consumed in one sitting, no way can the reader dip in and out- once started it is impossible to stop until the last page. On reaching the last page the reader will feel a sense a loss and wonder how they can follow this book.
Ms Nair has an exceptional insight into human nature and the shades of truth which we all toy with.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By SP on 24 Oct 2006
Format: Paperback
This is a beautiful story, captivating and well told. I have passed this book on to a number of friends (including non Asians) and everyone has fallen in love with it - and rightly so. What makes the story work so well is that it seems very personal to the author. If you don't cry at the ending, you have a heart of stone!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Saj on 20 Sep 2006
Format: Paperback
This book was fantastic, I read all the time. finishing book upon book one after the other. This book had me hooked, I had to put it down so I didn't finish it before my holiday ended. First book ever that truly had me captured at an emotional level. I even cried. READ IT, you won't regret it.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Cotts77 on 26 Feb 2004
Format: Paperback
I have been reading at least 3 books a month, and well let's just say that this book topped them all. I bought this book having no prior knowledge of the author, but after reading it, I can now say she is a great writer. The story is so beautiful. I became to know each character even though for only a few days. The lesson of forgiveness and living a lie to protect others and giving happiness is something many women go through when bringing up their families. I cried at the end, when Maya had finally come to her senses, and finally realising her true self was going back to what home was, what she was so eager to let go. The past sometimes helps you find the future. Without the past we are nothing. Hats off to Preethi!! I recorded a sentence from pg 169, which says: " I think you can love someone just from the desperate need to feel part of something, to belong to someone, to make the loneliness inside go away." That to me is one of the best lines i've ever read in a novel in a long time. So true, it touched my heart. Most of us make that common mistake of finding somehting, and masking it as love.
I'm off to buy and read her other novels. I hope it's just as good as this one.
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