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17 Reviews
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Enchanting
I had never heard of Anuradha Roy when I picked up this book, but I am glad to have found her. Reading the book is like being transported to the India she describes, with all its sights, sounds and smells. The story alludes to the effects of many old Indian customs (which may well still exist) and, while the impact of these often blights people's lives, this is not a...
Published 23 months ago by Hilary

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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Longing for something more
This book was chosen for our book club. Whilst it had some wonderful descriptions it didn't really deliver on the plot and when it began to get interesting, an affair, a murder it then tailed off to nothing. There are two sets of main characters and the forbidden love between the older two was the more engaging storyline.

The pace of the book was gentle and...
Published on 13 April 2010 by Helen Donaldson


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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Enchanting, 16 May 2012
By 
Hilary (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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I had never heard of Anuradha Roy when I picked up this book, but I am glad to have found her. Reading the book is like being transported to the India she describes, with all its sights, sounds and smells. The story alludes to the effects of many old Indian customs (which may well still exist) and, while the impact of these often blights people's lives, this is not a dreary book. The tone of the book is gentle and sympathetic. I believe Anuradha Roy likes her characters, despite all their idiosyncrasies and failings. I liked them too. This is a writer I will look out for in the future.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Longing for something more, 13 April 2010
By 
Helen Donaldson "Hen Hen" (Poole, UK) - See all my reviews
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This book was chosen for our book club. Whilst it had some wonderful descriptions it didn't really deliver on the plot and when it began to get interesting, an affair, a murder it then tailed off to nothing. There are two sets of main characters and the forbidden love between the older two was the more engaging storyline.

The pace of the book was gentle and slow and wasn't really engaging for me, however, it has piqued my interest in India.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exciting new take on the family dynamic..., 7 July 2008
When the friendship between Bakul, a young girl without her mother, and Makunda, an orphan of lower caste, blossoms, Bakul's strict father is determined to keep them apart and sends Mukunda to school in Calcutta. This is a decision no reader can agree with, the depiction of the connection between the pair entrancing. It is a relief then, when Mukunda returns to the family he was sent away from several years later, having proved his worth in the world of business. But he is too late to prevent the divisions among the family from deepening, and the narrative begins to address the wider concerns of a crumbling empire with subtlety and verve. This is a magical book addressing the worries and frustrations of three generations of a Bengali family that is desperately attempting to preserve its image.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Roy 'draws you in', 6 Nov 2012
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This review is from: An Atlas of Impossible Longing (Kindle Edition)
I had vaguely heard of Anuradha Roy before buying this book and decided to take a chance when I saw it on the kindle list...and am very glad I did! It's not Roy's shortcoming but my own, as I generally like a fast paced story, which meant I found the descriptive writing slowing me down at times, although it was beautifully written...the second half of the book moved at a better pace for me. I enjoyed getting to know the different characters and their relationships and loved being transported to an older India, where some of the traditional human qualities like respect for elders, sense of loyalty and responsibility towards parents, children and others still prevailed, alongside some of the less admirable ones driven by total self-interest and greed to gain through the tragic misfortunes of others. Roy slowly but surely pulled me into the book, to a point where I couldn't bear to put it down late into the night(until my batteries life died)and finished it in a few days. A great read, recommend it highly!
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Atlas of Impossible learning, 5 Aug 2011
By 
Roger W. Clarke "WOGER" (SOUTH WALES) - See all my reviews
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This story, so typical of India & Indian life was a pleasure to read. Not fast moving but then that's India. It really did give an insight into the way of life & the frustrating (to westerners)obstacles to everyday life.
A really 'difficult to put down'story so beautifully told.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An atlas of impossible longing !, 17 Oct 2011
This is one of my favourite books and well worth a reread . It transported me to a different world. it gave me a new insight into Indian history and culture .
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Enchanting story, 6 April 2011
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Read this novel and be enchanted by the story which makes you feel as if you too are part of their lives in Bengal.I was unable to put this book down and am looking forward to read more from this author.
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12 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable but not 'epic', 21 July 2008
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Anuradha Roy's book is really two books in one - the first part with an omnipresent narrator, the history of the Bengali family in Songarh during the early part of the 20th century, in British times, the second in the first person told from the perspective of the orphan Mukunda in adulthood.
The first part is atmospheric and evocative and has an authentic feel of times past, the second part is tense and gripping in its story line. However, the chief protagonists the lovers Mukunda and Bakul never really come alive and their love affair does not hook the emotions - it is almost secondary to the setting and background and it shouldn't be. Its not that the lovers are cardboard cutouts, they are simply not three dimensional enough. Bakul is also rather flatly drawn as an adult (although his story is gripping) And we never really understand why the Bengali family has financially supported Mukunda all these years.
The British family the Barnums, particularly Mrs Barnum are also not fleshed out as well as they could be. This could well be because dialogue is not the Author's forte. Everyone, whether Bengalis or British, speak in the same mocking tones to eachother within the household, and it is difficult to distinguish between individuals sometimes.
These flaws deprive the book of the depth and epic quality it could have had.
Even so there is much to enjoy in this book. I particularly like the sense of decay and past glories, and the story in the second half is fast-paced and very readable. (even if what Bakul did with the house deeds was a bit of a cop-out). I'd have given it 3.5 stars if that were possible because it was a good read.
Oh, and the title of the book is so pretentious.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Haunting and Beautifully Written, 13 Jan 2014
By 
Monaghan (Edinburgh, Scotland United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: An Atlas of Impossible Longing (Kindle Edition)
I rarely give 5 stars as a rating but I loved this book. I have also recommended it to others who have really enjoyed it too. The characterisation is very strong and I really cared about the characters. They are very real and understandable despite being part of a completely different culture. The book is beautifully written and the descriptions in the book are vivid and memorable. I don't know this author but am now/ searching out other books by her. Some books haunt the memory and, for me, this story does just that. I can thoroughly recommend it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous Find, 3 Nov 2013
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This review is from: An Atlas of Impossible Longing (Kindle Edition)
This book was a cheap Kindle buy and what a wonderful choice it turned out to be. Very occasionally you discover a book which in normal circumstances you would never have chanced upon and this is such a book.It is beautifully written, India comes alive as a backdrop for the tender story of the main characters. Read it and be amazed.
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