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Customer Review

20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A solid four stars - sparkling, believable characters & a captivating story, 13 May 2012
This review is from: Tell A Thousand Lies: A Novel Set In India (Kindle Edition)
As a big fan of Indian literature or literature about India, I was really keen to get going with this novel and I was not disappointed. A strong and powerful four star read that I really enjoyed from beginning to end.
The summary gives the impression the reader follows the twins Pullamma and Lata in equal parts and I half expected the narrative to switch between the two sisters but in fact, we are given the story for Pullamma's perspective and her perspective is just perfect - honest, frank and direct. As a narrator, Pullamma is extremely strong and the author has done well to create a character that is so far from my own background but I could still closely relate to and empathise with her story.
As Pullamma dreams of marriage and children, Lata wants to excel in her studies and become a doctor, both dreams seem impossible from the outset. Pullamma's dark skin has been the bane of her life and is deemed the reason she cannot be married off whereas Lata is fair skinned and perfect for any suitor, apart from her defiance and determination to study. It's extremely interesting how the notion of skin colour is so central to the story but it plays throughout and isn't an uncommon theme in other Indian literature.
The novel is quite slow paced but it works in context. It's hard to categorise this novel, much of it has a political undertone as the characters are often at the mercy of their local political fiend Kondal Rao who focuses on and controls their family with devastating consequences. It is impossible not to root for Pullamma as she gets up from a thousand setbacks and continues towards her dreams. At the same time, it is hard not to feel some empathy for her sister Lata who finds herself forced along a path she would never have wanted and in response acts despicably.
I really loved this novel, I loved how every single hardship and battle was tackled head on and how the author was able to create believable and genuine characters who it was impossible not to warm too and of course, I loved the ending.

Beth Townsend - The Kindle Book Review
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