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Customer Review

240 of 245 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Fine Balance, 20 May 2006
This review is from: A Fine Balance (Paperback)
This is a truly great book. It chronicles the story of 4 individuals from very different sectors of the Indian Caste system.

Not only does it accurately portray the political and social situation in India in the 1970s,it reflects the predudices within the upper castes and the fatalistic attitude of the lower castes, formed from their religious beliefs that suffering is their destiny and the reward will be in the afterlife.

This story is overwhelmingly sad and also shocking as the reader can identify the ethical question of human suffering for a possibly laudable goal (in this case it is population control). However, the novel is also uplifting in a peculiar way; that individuals who struggle so hard to exist in appalling conditions can find joy in their lives is humbling. It also allows the reader to identify with the predudices and to see a situation from another side. Maybe at the end of the book, the reader feels that they have grown a little in spirit and have the capacity to be a 'better' person as a result.

For me, the mark of a great book is one that remains with you long after the back page is read. This is such a book.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 23 Jan 2009 22:43:25 GMT
J. L. Dean says:
I totally agree with your definition of a great book in that it remains with you long after the last page is read.............so on the strength of your well written review I'm going to take the plunge and buy this book, thank you

In reply to an earlier post on 27 Jan 2011 22:50:33 GMT
I very much agree. I first read this book in 2000 while travelling in Sri Lanka. My trip was a life changing experience and this book played a huge role in defining my feelings about travel in Asia. It is so beautifully written and as has been said before humbling, uplifting and dare I say it life changing. I had to get a copy when I returned home and it has been re read several times since and has not lost anything in the telling second or third time over.
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