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Tell A Thousand Lies: A Novel Set In India [Kindle Edition]

Rasana Atreya , Manoj Vijayan , Pat Smith
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (135 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £9.49
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Book Description

UK's Glam magazine calls 'Tell A Thousand Lies' one of their 'five favourite tales from India.'

Shortlisted for the 2012 Tibor Jones South Asia prize

A corrupt politician plays with the lives of a teen Goddess and her loved ones in this fast-paced novel - part thriller, part Bollywood romance - set in India.

***
In a land where skin colour can determine one's destiny, fraternal twins PULLAMMA and LATA are about to embark on a journey that will tear their lives apart.

Dark skinned Pullamma dreams of being a wife. With three girls in her family, the sixteen year old is aware there isn't enough dowry to secure suitable husbands for them all. But a girl can hope. She's well versed in cooking, pickle making, cow washing -- you name it. She's also obliged her old-fashioned grandmother by not doing well in school.

Fair skinned and pretty, her twin sister Lata would rather study medicine than get married. Unable to grasp the depth of Lata's desire, the twins' Grandmother formalizes a wedding alliance for the girl. Distraught, Lata rebels, with devastating consequences.

As Pullamma helps ready the house for her older sister Malli's bride viewing, she prays for a positive outcome to the event. What happens next is so inconceivable that it will shape Pullamma's future in ways she couldn't have foreseen.

A mainstream, multi-ethnic, world literature book from India, TELL A THOUSAND LIES is a sometimes wry, sometimes sad, but ultimately realistic look at how superstition and the colour of a girl's skin rules India's hinterlands.

If you like Khaled Hosseini (The Kite Runner) or Vikram Seth (A Suitable Boy), you might like this book.

Please note: British/Indian spellings used (jewellery, paediatrician, foetus etc.) These are not typos.

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Product Description

About the Author

Rasana is the author of Amazon bestseller 'Tell A Thousand Lies', which was also shortlisted for the '2012 Tibor Jones South Asia award'. UK’s Glam magazine calls this novel one of their 'five favourite tales from India' (June 2014). Her other works are 'The Temple Is Not My Father' and '28 Years A Bachelor' (coming October 31, 2014).

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 991 KB
  • Print Length: 340 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B007IX6W8Q
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (135 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #12,361 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Rasana Atreya is a blogger, foodie and novelist living in Hyderabad, India. She is also the mother of two grade schoolers who are desperate for the chance to design the cover of her second book. She's still thinking about that one. Her first novel, Tell A Thousand Lies, which was shortlisted for the 2012 Tibor Jones South Asia award, is an Amazon category bestseller.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition
As a big fan of Indian literature or literature about India, I was really keen to get going with this novel and I was not disappointed. A strong and powerful four star read that I really enjoyed from beginning to end.
The summary gives the impression the reader follows the twins Pullamma and Lata in equal parts and I half expected the narrative to switch between the two sisters but in fact, we are given the story for Pullamma's perspective and her perspective is just perfect - honest, frank and direct. As a narrator, Pullamma is extremely strong and the author has done well to create a character that is so far from my own background but I could still closely relate to and empathise with her story.
As Pullamma dreams of marriage and children, Lata wants to excel in her studies and become a doctor, both dreams seem impossible from the outset. Pullamma's dark skin has been the bane of her life and is deemed the reason she cannot be married off whereas Lata is fair skinned and perfect for any suitor, apart from her defiance and determination to study. It's extremely interesting how the notion of skin colour is so central to the story but it plays throughout and isn't an uncommon theme in other Indian literature.
The novel is quite slow paced but it works in context. It's hard to categorise this novel, much of it has a political undertone as the characters are often at the mercy of their local political fiend Kondal Rao who focuses on and controls their family with devastating consequences. It is impossible not to root for Pullamma as she gets up from a thousand setbacks and continues towards her dreams. At the same time, it is hard not to feel some empathy for her sister Lata who finds herself forced along a path she would never have wanted and in response acts despicably.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
By Amanda
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
In truth I think I would like to have given this book 3.5 stars as it really does lie between the 2 ratings. It took me a while to get into the storyline and characters but once I did it was compelling reading. On the slight negative side, the tragic event after tragic event did seem just a bit too far fetched for the story to have any really 'true' feel to it. But then I saw a collection of photographs in the Sunday Times titled "caste aside" and this included one of Love Commandos who protect lovers (from different castes) from their families - and, of course, we hear too often about honour killings - which made me think that perhaps the novel's tragic events, along similar lines, were not so far fetched after all.

At the end of the day, it was a disturbing but interesting insight into Indian culture and corruption and I will be looking out for the next novel from this author with interest!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful read 5 Aug. 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I started reading this book - via Kindle - last Saturday and finished it on Monday. Once I had read the first few pages, I got caught up in both the story and its writing. They are not always the same. The story is fast moving and varied. I could never predict and although about an unfamiliar culture, it was so well told that I could understand decisions made and sympathise with them.
As a consequence, I have now two days work to do because I did virtually nothing while I read and look forward to reading other books by this author.
Best book I have read for some time.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A powerful book. 6 Jun. 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
Three sisters, Pullamma, Lata and Malli have been brought up by their grandmother. The grandmother wants to find them a husband, but only two of the girls are "pretty". Pullamma is too dark to be considered attractive in 1980 India.

That's the theme in essence. We don't have anything to do with Malli (although her wedding brings us Kondal Rao and he's is going to be Pullamma's nightmare), Malli is married off from the start and we only begin to get to know Lata towards the end of the book. It's Pullamma's story and her that we life we get to know, but she's a girl very much of her time and heritage. All she wants is a husband and a family. Unlike her twin, Lata, she isn't interested in education.

In the beginning I did wonder if the book had too much "info dump" because there was a lot telling about how people from that culture lived, but before I realised I was hooked on Pullamma's story and found myself keen to finish. There were a few flashbacks that became a jumble at times, and I did wonder if the story was too "big" for the author, but overall I think Rasana Atreya did a very good job indeed. It was easy reading, and opened my eyes to how "free" Western culture is and how much it's taken for granted.

Pullamma, as a character, was delightful, although I found her too naive at times, especially as she openly trusted people even when, one after the other, they took advantage of her. Her husband was a character I couldn't warm to at all! I hoped Pullamma would dump him by the end of the story for being such a wuss and a pushover, but no, she "loved him".

Tell a Thousand Lies is a story I'm going to remember (for all the right reasons), I do think there was a lot packed into it, maybe too much?
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars one o 11 Nov. 2014
By Pammy
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This book highlights so many issues that girls and women are faced with in parts of India - even today. The lack of education causes people to believe the most ridiculous things. Being a born a girl is the first fault having dark skin the second, being intelligent enough to pass exams at school the third and then being married but not allowed to have a voice as it's considered a bad thing to show intelligence and bring shame upon your family by being too modern. These are just some of the issues that I reacted to in the book- it made me angry but I love the way the author raised and then addressed these issues through the sad story of Pullama. It is a well story that kept me gripped and I'm now sad it over. I enjoyed this book immensely
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars A real shame as the premise is good but events happen without warning...
A little too cliche and unbelievable in places. A real shame as the premise is good but events happen without warning and dialogue is a little romanticised. Read more
Published 14 days ago by Michelle Eley
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Unusual story
Published 24 days ago by MRS RUTH STEELE
3.0 out of 5 stars Okay read
Readable but with many plot holes and gaps in character development. The story is sometimes far fetched and not very believable and the meaning of the book unclear. Read more
Published 1 month ago by trinita attanayake
2.0 out of 5 stars Two Stars
Disappointingly slow and plot driven - has a "soap opera" feel about it.
Published 2 months ago by Ian Tugwell
4.0 out of 5 stars Realistic
Interesting glimpse into indian culture
Published 2 months ago by reb
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good story, I really enjoyed this book
Very good story, I really enjoyed this book. The underlying themes of loyalty and family and how twisted lives can become because of it!
Published 3 months ago by Lauren Neppe
4.0 out of 5 stars A must read, a truly cultural story
Great story of sadness, grief and hope. A really well written story on a family's life everyone will relate to,
Published 4 months ago by B1nd1x
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Fabulous book, very believable and introduced me to many Indian customs and culture that I was unaware of.
Published 4 months ago by christine
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Gets better as you get further along the book
Published 5 months ago by PURVI
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved this novel
Loved this novel. It felt like a really atmospheric glimpse into another culture, with a really well thought-out plot. Read more
Published 5 months ago by J. Tuncer
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