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Tell A Thousand Lies: A Novel Set In India
 
 

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

Rasana Atreya , Pat Smith , Manoj Vijayan
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (110 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Product Description

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

About the Author

Rasana Atreya, author of Tell A Thousand Lies, left a comfortable job in IT because she thought roughing it out as a penniless writer was romantic. Her next book, Half A House, should be out in early part of 2014. She is also working on The Temple Is Not My Father

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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
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
By The Kindle Book Review TOP 1000 REVIEWER
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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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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3 of 3 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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant 22 July 2013
By Unknown
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I loved this book .could not put it down.you really get to know the characters and the culture of india
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
easy to read book, enjoyed reading this book from start to finish. recommend.
Published 22 days ago by p amin
5.0 out of 5 stars Couldn't put it down
This was an excellent story, brilliantly written keeping you on the edge of your seat right to the end. Would highly recommend it.
Published 22 days ago by Sarah Montgomery
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Well worth reading.
Published 1 month ago by Mrs O.
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Rather farfetched. Too much misery. Unlikely outcomes.
Published 1 month ago by Ann Jones
5.0 out of 5 stars St.Ives Maid
A thought provoking read. We in the West take so much for granted, education, freedom of choice, loyalty to family. I look forward to the next novel.
Published 1 month ago by St Ivesmaid
4.0 out of 5 stars Good read
I read this while on holiday, I felt the first few chapters dragged a bit as too much background information was packed in at the beginning so it took a while for the story to... Read more
Published 1 month ago by miss r p king
3.0 out of 5 stars no opiniion yet
unfinished.
Published 2 months ago by Mrs. Jillian M. Court
4.0 out of 5 stars Sad and funny
Great read from start to finish, I read it late into the night until my eyes would not stay open.
Published 2 months ago by A HIRANI
5.0 out of 5 stars Rich in description
so enjoyed this book-loved the descriptions could feel the heat smell the life felt the emotions. Can't wait to read more by Rasana.
Published 2 months ago by gary martin jones
5.0 out of 5 stars simply couldn't put it down till the end
An incredible journey I will never forget.
A woman's heart can withstand so much and still go on in hope
Published 2 months ago by Gizella
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