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35 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Enthralling, powerful novel
I wholeheartedly recommend this book. It is exceptionally well written with moving descriptions of the terrifying circumstances in which four people - two Hindu twins aged six, a young Sikh teenager and an elderly Muslim doctor are made homeless during the time of the partition in India.

I loved the description of the kind, generous, single-minded doctor...
Published on 4 Dec 2011 by Leicsliz

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Partitions review
I was quite disappointed by this book. I have read a number of books about India and partition but found this curiously soulless.
Published 3 months ago by KS


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35 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Enthralling, powerful novel, 4 Dec 2011
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This review is from: Partitions (Hardcover)
I wholeheartedly recommend this book. It is exceptionally well written with moving descriptions of the terrifying circumstances in which four people - two Hindu twins aged six, a young Sikh teenager and an elderly Muslim doctor are made homeless during the time of the partition in India.

I loved the description of the kind, generous, single-minded doctor feeding crumbs to the stray dogs he encounters on his travels. His only desire is to heal and treat the sick - whatever their race or creed. The incredible journeys of the four main characters and all the horror which they experience whilst trying to find a new home are vividly described by Amit Majmudar. This book is absolutely superb - thought provoking and powerful giving a heart-rending insight into the horrendous effects of the partition. Anyone who reads this novel cannot help but be moved by it.
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35 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding first novel, 13 Jan 2012
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This review is from: Partitions (Hardcover)
Two young boys are left standing on the platform of a railway station, torn from their mother's grasp by a crowd of people pushing to get onto the train. An elderly doctor arrives at work to find his surgery smashed up beyond use. A teen-aged girl runs away when her male relatives kill her mother, aunts, sisters, and all the other women in the family to preserve their 'honour'. Welcome to 'Partitions' by Amit Majmudar, a book you'll remember long after the final page is turned.

'Partitions' follows the twins, the doctor and the virgin, interweaving three different story-lines set during the human exodus brought about by the formation of the new countries. The book is set in August 1947 in the days following Independence and offers perspectives from all three key religions. The boys are Hindu, the doctor a Muslim and the girl is a Sikh. Unlikely as it might sound, the book is narrated by a dead man called Dr Roshan Jaitly. He uses his ghostly form to flit between the three stories in a way that possibly sounds a bit daft and probably shouldn't work. Oddly and unexpectedly it does work - beautifully, seamlessly and in a very smooth and moving way.

In just over 200 pages, Majmudar moves his four characters like chess pieces on a board, dancing them step by step towards each other then sending them away again. Jaitly's ghost watches over them and comments on their progress. It's not just the focal characters that make the book so memorable; the supporting cast are richly painted and fascinating too. It's the little details that make these people come alive on the page.

This is not the most horrible book I've read about 'Partition' - that accolade must surely go to Kushwant Singh's 'The Train to Pakistan' - but it is one of the most moving and ultimately optimistic books about this horrific time. Buy it - it really is an exceptional book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant!, 16 May 2012
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This review is from: Partitions (Kindle Edition)
This book is so wonderfully written that, as another reviewer has said, it came as no surprise to find the author is also a poet. Some sentences I've re-read just for their beauty.

The story is gripping and harrowing, relating a terrible time, but for the most part avoiding graphic violence (although I did have to skip 3 or 4 pages in the middle so that I could sleep that night!). At times I found myself almost holding my breath, so frightened for the main characters. Man's inhumanity to man never fails to appal, and maltreatment of women, and their acceptance of it, never fails to outrage. Yet these horrors are overcome by the goodness of one unlikely hero, and this is so skilfully sketched by the author.

Here is one small extract which I think sums up not just this little part of history, but the history of the world in general:-

"...sensing, as he has before, a detached kindness guiding the courses and intersections of people, which violent men try to disrupt but succeed in disrupting only for a time."

A masterpiece!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Captivating, 6 May 2014
This review is from: Partitions (Paperback)
Ever since I was a young child, I’ve loved reading. My dad would encourage us, and bought lots of books, spanning different genres. After not seeing him for months at a time, we’d all tuck up in bed, and he’d read us a story, unfortunately, half way through he’d fall asleep, and start snoring :)

For me reading offers excitement, escapism, inspiration, and knowledge. It’s been a while since a book has enthralled me. On Easter Monday, the weather was miserable, there was nothing decent on TV, and I recalled my sister in-law telling me about a book she borrowed from our study called Partitions, she said she was so eager to know the ending, that she stayed up a few nights just to finish it (no mean feat as a mother of a young child & job as a nurse). I picked it up early that morning, and by the afternoon had read it.

Partitions is a fictional story set amongst the chaos of July 1947 (division of India into Pakistan). The reader follows the journey of the persecution of each religious group (Hindu, Muslim & Sikh) as told by a man. This man/the narrator happens to be the father of twin Hindu boys, Keshav and Shankar. They are fleeing Pakistan for India with their mother, Sonia (a Christian), but somehow get lost from her during their train journey, and the brothers are left to defend for themselves. Then we meet Dr Masud, an elderly well-respected paediatrician, who had his own clinic in India, but as a Muslim, he has to abandon his home and head towards Pakistan. The final character is Simran, a teenage Sikh girl, who flees from her home after realising that her father and male relatives decide to poison her mother, sisters, and young brother, so that they don’t get abused at the hands of Muslims. She embarks on a journey to Amritsar, but on her way, she gets taken captive by three Muslim men looking to exploit vulnerable young women and sell them to men.

Partitions captivates the reader; I was genuinely moved by the characters, eager to know whether they’d escape harm. By the end of the story, you reel at man’s worst capabilities (men exploiting women, the caste system, religious hatred), but there is also much love and kindness, the glimpses of the acts of essential goodness that save us from despair. Keshav & Shankar, Dr Masud and Simran all originally embark on their separate journeys, but in the end their paths cross, three different religious groups in unity. There are a few twists to the story, making this is a traumatic but enriching journey from which no reader can emerge unaffected.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb book, I urge you to read it!, 17 May 2012
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This review is from: Partitions (Kindle Edition)
This book is without a shadow of a doubt, one of the most beautiful book I have ever read. A wonderful, captivating humane story chronicling the partition of India and Pakistan in 1947. Majmudar is a poet and this is reflected in the beautiful prose. I loved the way the characters were also seen through the spirit of the narrator (the dead father of the twins).
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20 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Poet and now novelist, 14 July 2011
This review is from: Partitions (Kindle Edition)
I really enjoyed this book loved the spirit telling the story and keeping track on the main players, who like a rope, fray when the violence of partition destroys their lives and they all go seperate ways.

The book is very poetic, so it really was no surprise to find at the end that the author has published books of poetry before this novel.

I liked the etheric quality produced.

It also has historic qualities exploring the Hindu, Sikh and Muslim divisions in families and communities.

A good read, throughly enjoyable all the way to the end - would make a lovely film.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Touching & stark reminder of dark times, 7 Jun 2014
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This review is from: Partitions (Kindle Edition)
Good read. Goes to show how it's really the common people who face the ugly consequences and carry on the trauma of violence as a result of political fallouts and failures. It's a sad joke on the people of the world told by the very, increasingly, minority that is supposed to represent our interests: politicians.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Partitions review, 24 April 2014
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I was quite disappointed by this book. I have read a number of books about India and partition but found this curiously soulless.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing., 11 Nov 2013
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what an absolutely brilliant read for anyone with little knowledge of partition. gives a microscopic insight into an interesting, yet horrendous historical moment.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Enlightening and Well written, 8 Nov 2013
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This book shines a light on a period that still haunts several nations. Well written, enlightening and tragic in equal measures
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Partitions
Partitions by Amit Majmudar (Paperback - 1 Feb 2012)
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