5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
An excellent novel worthy of it's Booker Prize recognition.,
By A Customer
This review is from: Fasting, Feasting (Paperback)
Fasting, Feasting, by Anita Desai, was an excellent novel with strong narrative, interesting characters and discussions on unignorable human issues. The story is written in two parts. The first takes place in India and tells the story of Uma, the eldest daughter. She is all an Indian family would hope their daughter would not be. Although she is not pretty or smart, Uma does have a kind heart and a strong will. Throughout the collection of life-changing stories that make up the first section, Uma grows immensly in spirit. So much so that by the end she has found a place for herself in Indian society where she can show her individuality. The second part of the book focuses on Uma's younger brother Arun who is attending school in Massachusetts. During the novel, he stays with a family for the summer while school is out. This section of the book held eerie revelations about American society. Besides discussing the issue of eating disorders, it also touched on the diminishing of the family structure and the American obsession with materialism. Through Arun's thoughts and feelings the reader is able to see the problems and obstacles that plague society. During Arun's stay, he grows as a character making the end of the book very touching. Entertwined in all of these other concepts is the issue of food. One of the most interesting points in this book is how Desai compares American and Indian cultures through the way they view food. By using this interesting tool of comparison and involving the reader in her work Desai creates a captivating novel that forces the reader to look closely at their own values.