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on 18 June 2014
This is beautifully written and is done so from the honest prospective of what the main character experiences within and about her. She is what she is and you do not necessarily have to like her to understand the feelings that are within her. The text is elaborate in its descriptions but adds to the understanding of how Meera is shaped. Not all things end perfectly in life. Not all people are strong or make the right decisions. This is called honest brutality - which means that characters do not necessarily follow those portrayed in hollywood fairy tales which some readers seem to expect. Anyway I enjoyed it. It is not a happy book but it is what it is.
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on 23 June 2009
At over 400 pages, this book is twice as long as it should be. It can be roughly split into a good half and a bizarre bad half.

I love books on India and this looked promising to begin with - the central character, Meena, ensnares her sister's boyfriend and lives to regret it. The trouble is that she isn't very likable - if fact a bit of a misandrist. Her lovely father who tries to do so much for her is ridiculed. Her husband and brother in law are portrayed as rather pathetic and her spineless son seems to have an almost Oedipus complex.

I found the politicization and the academic success of her mother and sister bizarre. The second half was just a vacuous political rant interspersed with tales of "poor me, poor me". Much more could have been made of the relationship with her sister in law and her childless marriage.

I would almost have expected this book to have been written by a "wimmin", so it was surprising that a man wrote it. Very disappointing.
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on 29 April 2009
This book made me very angry at Meera, and her character. The book itself is not worth a read, and basically is a waste of time. Too many bad decisions, self pity, sexual tones where they were not tasteful, or even required.

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on 27 March 2009
I had high hopes for this book, since its back cover was plastered with quotes from various newspapers. But it didn't take me long before I was starting to wonder if I was reading the same book as they had. Problems started on the first page - a highly sexualised description of breast feeding - and got worse from there. Meera, the main character, I found impossible to like. Her choices seemed to be based purely on what would cause the most problems for herself - problems she then blamed on other people. Her motivations seemed to be based purely on jealousy and competition, something which a skilled writer might have been able to make work with a stronger character, but Meera's passivity made her impossible to emphasise with. And that's without mentioning the downright disturbing relationship with her son (she developed strong sexual feelings for him and grew obsessed).

Although the descriptions are occasionally good, they are also far too long and numerous, slowing the pace down to a crawl. I found myself skimming much of it. Definitely not recommended.
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on 26 May 2009
I could have tried to digest the other behaviour but for the Sexualization of the relation beweeen a mother and son was the most disgusting.
Definitely do NOT recommend.
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on 19 March 2008
i am very dissapointed with this book. i found a lot of scenes between meera and her son, the way author described meera's love for her son disgustingly sexual. i felt contempt towards meera for obeying everyone, not being strong enough to stick to her own decisions and then blaming everyone else for her ruined life. her possessive obsessive love for her son made me feel sick. no mother who truly loves her child wound want to tie him down to herself for as long as she possibly can and deny the chance for him to have his own life, his own experiences. and she most definately won't tell her small child that his father killed his sibling when she was pregnant. she was so selfish trying to get her son love her more than his dad that it ended in tradgedy and hurt her son so very much. she is also ungrateful for her father's help: bringing her up as an equal to men, encouriging her to shape her life the way she wanted to, trying to give her good education and then giving her son a chance to have a good education too. and she was furious with her father for that. this book enraged me big time. i wasted my whole week reading it and it was not worth it
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