Top positive review
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One of the finest works of partition fiction
on 23 September 2007
Published as Ice Candy Man and Cracking India (and made into a movie called Earth) the book tells the story of the partition. Initially I was put of by the fact that we had a child narrator, but Lenny's insights and interpretations of the events around her can be almost hilarious and work very well in what is otherwise an almost violent read. Much has been made of the pro-Pakistani slant to the book, it's a bias that's hard to deny but it is an almost impossible to task to find literature on the partition, both from fact or fiction that is truly objective. Sidwa presents a view point and it is a view point shared by many and therefore should be read for that reason alone. As a work of literature this is almost with equal and is the finest piece of partition fiction I have read to date. It's not a tale of politicians, but of people and how they react to the events unfolding. Central to the story are the many men of all religions courting Lenny's Ayah, we meet the Ice Candy Man, the masseur, the butcher all vie for her affections. The book, though it takes a few chapters to get going soon becomes impossible to put down, the mixture of humour and violence can leave one laughing one minute and almost reduced to tears the next. A must read.