Customer Reviews


12 Reviews
5 star:
 (8)
4 star:    (0)
3 star:
 (2)
2 star:
 (1)
1 star:
 (1)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A very moving story
Anita Desai's wonderful novel tells the story of a family living in the small fishing village of Thul, 14 kilometres from Bombay, India. It is more precisely the story of two young people, Hari, a boy of 14, and Lila, a girl of 13, with a will to survive. Their task is not easy. Lila has to look after their mother who is very ill with fever and requires constant care. She...
Published on 30 July 2004 by HORAK

versus
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A humane story offering an insight into daily life in India.
Set against the backdrop of a seemingly timeless coastal Indian fishing village, Anita Desai's moving story demonstrates that even the most beautiful rural outpost cannot avoid the powerful thrust of modernisation. As the impending arrival of chemical factories threaten local livelihoods, teenager Hari is forced to leave his native village Thul in search of a fortune that...
Published on 4 Jan 2002


‹ Previous | 1 2 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A humane story offering an insight into daily life in India., 4 Jan 2002
By A Customer
Set against the backdrop of a seemingly timeless coastal Indian fishing village, Anita Desai's moving story demonstrates that even the most beautiful rural outpost cannot avoid the powerful thrust of modernisation. As the impending arrival of chemical factories threaten local livelihoods, teenager Hari is forced to leave his native village Thul in search of a fortune that he believes can only be found in the glamorous and enticing city of Bombay. With three dependant sisters, a sick mother and a drunken father to provide for, Hari is devastated to discover that the streets of Bombay are not paved with gold as he had anticipated.
Based on true events, Desai tells a story of human endeavour against the odds of grinding poverty, monsoon destruction and fatal illness. A forerunner to Arundhati Roy's 'The God of Small Things', 'The Village by the Sea' is also written through a childhood perspective, but unlike Roy, Desai does not underscore her narrative with adult judgements and cynicism. Childhood dreams and disillusionment are skilfully intertwined with a powerful sense of place and a breathtaking landscape which is on the brink of irreversible change. I would recommend this book to anyone who is interested in learning some of the truths about the diverse country of India.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A very moving story, 30 July 2004
By 
HORAK (Zug, Switzerland) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Village by the Sea (Paperback)
Anita Desai's wonderful novel tells the story of a family living in the small fishing village of Thul, 14 kilometres from Bombay, India. It is more precisely the story of two young people, Hari, a boy of 14, and Lila, a girl of 13, with a will to survive. Their task is not easy. Lila has to look after their mother who is very ill with fever and requires constant care. She is also in charge of all the household chores and has to look after their two younger sisters, Bela and Kamal. Hari on the other hand has to work in the fields, selling whatever he can at the market to feed the family. Indeed, their father has long ceased to be a fisherman, his sole occupation being to get drunk on toddy every night along with his chums in the village.
Fortunately next to their hut is a large country house called Mon Repos which is owned by the de Silvas from Bombay and whenever they come on holiday to Thul, Lila and Hari can earn some extra money by helping with the household or doing work in the garden. But there is a rumour in the village saying that soon the rice fields and the coconut groves will be replaced by a large fertiliser factory. The location of Thul was chosen by the Government for its closeness to the port of Rewas. So new highways and railway lines are to be build and the villagers are worried about their future. Are they skilled enough to get a job at the factory? What will become of their traditional way of life? Will the air and the sea be polluted by chemicals? When a delegation is sent to Bombay to express their worries to the Minister Sahib, Hari decides to join the party. Before leaving, he decides that Bombay may offer him a better life opportunity than his frightened sisters, his sad house, his ill mother and his drunken father. And it is indeed in Bombay where this delicate boy, who "never did talk much and always preferred to think things out very slowly and carefully before he did", will learn to fight and become a man.
A wonderful and delicate novel, one of Anita Desai's great achievements.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is a book which is definitely worth reading!, 25 Dec 2000
This review is from: The Village by the Sea (Paperback)
This is an excellent book about an asain family growing up in a village by the sea. Anita Desai has written extremely well, incorporating what life may have been like from a child's perspective. This is a book which is worth buying for your bookshelf.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars A good book, 11 Jun 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Village by the Sea (Paperback)
Lots of children in my class have enjoyed reading this from my book corner. I would recommend it for children in key stage 2
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Had the feel good factor, 3 Feb 2014
By 
Mrs. M. Wiggins (England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Village by the Sea (Paperback)
A lovely book depicting the difference between city and village life in India. The characters all were so real and it was a charming story. Was the first book by Anita that I have read but will be reading many more.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting.., 10 Oct 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Village by the Sea (Paperback)
I bought this for my niece as gift. Surprisingly she asked me more about India. What can I say, I have to read it too.. in the third world country, it's common to see such a life. But the most important for my niece education is how we face the world.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing given the rep of the author, 23 Dec 2012
This review is from: The Village by the Sea (Paperback)
I picked this up expecting perfectly crafted prose - given this is written by a well recognised novelist - but gained the impression it had been dashed off: written in ill-considered haste. It was full of - I think not deliberate - word repetitions and felt like it was in need of a good edit. Yes the story is a poignant one, but with a little more care it could have been a lot more powerful. I didn't get the impression her characters knew their local wildlife as well as they should have done. There were also a few plot points which didn't ring true. I don't want to give away the end, but the change in the father was - to me, a practising physician - not believable. All in all this was disappointing from this lauded author.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Synopsis from back cover, 17 Oct 2008
Hari and his sister Lila are the eldest children of an Indian family. Their mother is ill and their father spends most of his time in a drunken stupor. Grimly, Lila and Hari struggle to hold the family together until one day, in a last-ditch attempt to break out of poverty, Hari leaves his sisters in the silent, shadowy hut and runs off to Bombay. How Hari and Lila cope with the harsh realities of life in city and village, and how their inner strength and optimism carry them through, is vividly described in this warm, moving and powerful story.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars simply touching, 22 Feb 2006
By 
Prerna Desai Ingolfsson "cantputitdown" (Reykjavik, Iceland) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Village by the Sea (Paperback)
Anita Desai remains one of the world's most competent novelists. This book, written in the eighties on an India shrouded in socialist ideals, revolves round the lives of a family in a small coastal village in western India.
The children in the family need to grow out of being children very quickly because of a sick mother and a drunk father. Hari, the boy escapes to the legendary (and mythical as he later learns) glamour of Bombay where he goes to work in a grubby eatery (long since renovated to offer "air-conditioned" sections to enjoy a quick, delicious lunch). Hari is a little boy forced to become a young man in a short span of time and handles the transition badly at first, but stoicly reaches a peace with his circumstances.
The main and most endearing character of the book remains Hari's elder sister Lila, who, like Hari must become a woman before she has had time to be a girl. Through determination and patience she gets her mother the help she needs to be treated from sickness and she stays the quiet and strong heroine in this beautifully lucid children's book.
Anita Desai handles all her characters with a deft empathy, writing them out in ways which bring their individual desires a depth and significance. She also describes the atmosphere so well, it's like being in a painting...
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars MOVING AND MOTIVATING, 24 May 2011
This review is from: The Village by the Sea (Paperback)
I found this book extremely captivating. I makes the reader eager to know what the outcome would be.
The description of practically everything mentioned is so vivid and dramatic. I would stronly recommend this book to all irrespective of age group.
CHEERS!!!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 2 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

The Village by the Sea
The Village by the Sea by Anita Desai (Paperback - 6 Dec 2001)
5.59
In stock
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews