- Format: Kindle Edition
- File Size: 6824 KB
- Print Length: 282 pages
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publisher: SiyaWoman (8 Dec. 2016)
- Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
- Language: English
- ASIN: B01MSX89MH
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Customer reviews: 17 customer ratings
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,207,623 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Kathputli Kindle Edition
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The time jumps between past and present have been very beautiful portrayed through the characters.
Ushahi Sen Basu has taken me in a journey with characters and it felt just like one of the stories could remember my grand parents would tell me. The story and the characters felt so real and so alive. The story tells a tale about challenges a woman faces in two different eras.
A subtle, sympathetic rendering of the characters (all characters demonstrate the complex balance of positive and negative traits that make up real people) reminds us how we should be careful when we judge the behaviour of earlier generations.
Following the various plot twists, we find our perspective on different characters’ actions change and behaviour that at first seems unfathomable and inexcusable to a modern reader we are forced to reconsider. We start to see real human beings, trying and not always succeeding in balancing love, responsibility, guilt, jealousy and fear, in a society with a completely different set of social constraints to our own. Despite the serious subject matter, the author manages to punctuate the tale with a dry humour that only enhances the humanity of the novel.
Not being Indian myself, the story provided an informative insight to cultural changes in India in a way that avoided the usual clichés and managed to cut directly and clearly through to the ‘heart of the matter’.
Ushasi Sen Basu is a skilled writer and makes you care without being heavyhanded. Her style is effortless and draws you into the story very naturally. Steeped in nostalgia, Kathputli is atmospheric, haunting, uplifting and above all hugely entertaining! I would thoroughly recommend it to everyone who loves a good tale. Read it, you'll regret it if you don't 😀
Top international reviews
Chitrangda is a creative young woman feeling ennui and depression in her corporate career. She quits with the intention of writing a book - any book, about anything. She spends her time talking to her reluctant grandmother, unearthing a tragedy in the family set around the time of the Indian struggle for independence. Chitrangda's search for the truth of this story shows her paying attention to her family in ways she had not before, bring her to more unanswerable questions.
Chitrangda is spoiled. I am an entitled millennial myself and I she reflects parts of me that I would rather not see the light of day. This makes it harder for me to want her to succeed as she wanders around judging her older family members and disrespecting lives that she would have had to live herself if she weren't lucky enough to born in these times.
Chitrangda's self-centred prying is also slow-paced and somewhat aimless. It's hard to tell why she should know what she wants to know - even though her grandmother's story is actually incredibly interesting and plays out in an realistic and fascinating way.
In fact, what I want from this book is less Chitrangda and more everyone else. Her grandmother Latha gets shortchanged in the narrative between her and her sister Mala.
I've spent a lot of time talking about the glass of the book because Latha and Macabre fantastic characters. How do people, how does family, navigate the bonds of betrayal, love, jealousy and tenderness? How do you forgive each other, heal each other? What lives did our grandmothers live within the constraints we imagine render them boring and lifeless?
Chitrangda learns different lessons than she expected from her investigations, and I admired the direction that Basu ultimately takes her in.
Ushasi Sen Basu uses workmanlike prose to create mood and atmosphere. She doesn't hammer in points with a hammer, allowing her readers to read between the lines and draw their own conclusions and form their own judgements. I definitely recommend this to other people, and will look out for her next book.
P.s. Full disclosure, I have spoken to the author once or twice. We've not ever met in person but I reached out to tell her I liked her book. She seems pretty nice!
It's a story of Kuhu and her search for a story in her family, material for a book she wants to write. And how she learns of a very intriguing sad story in her family from the three sisters embroiled in it. Three points of views.
The narrative is gripping. The plot is superb and the writing is very good. I can imagine this turning into a lovely movie spanning across countries and two generations.
I had wishlisted this book and it was on my list for the hypothetical time I subscribe to Kindle unlimited. However seeing it in the kindle monthly deals, I grabbed it. And I'm glad I did!
Go ahead folks. Read it.
All the best Ushasi. I now wait for more from you.
The result is this page turner of a book.
The book strangely reminds me of Ian McEwan's Atonement though the plots are very different from each other. Perhaps, because it beautifully brings out the conflicting emotions of siblings growing up together where one is more often than not favored over the other.
The best thing about the book, which I particularly want the author to congratulate for, is how she has successfully resisted the urge to judge her characters. Her characters are flawed and hence very very real and humane. The author does not try to justify their actions and that is where she excels.
This book is a keeper. Would recommend it to all bibliophiles!
This was a surprising book which balances a variety of elements- a coming of age story, the struggle of an ambitious Bengali woman, a bond between sisters, the perception of mental illness in the Indian society, the fragility of relationships and life itself. Sen traverses back and forth in time and shifts narrating point-of-view tactfully. At first, I found the constant re-adjustment a bit jarring, but once you get into the rhythm, it gets comfortable.
The plot is fairly straightforward- Kuhu, the protagonist is in search of a story for her great novel. A family re-union ignites a possibility and she chases an idea relentlessly- a bittersweet story of two sisters, one of whom is her grandmother. I won't go into it further and spoil it for potential readers.
The story unfurls at a casual pace. There is a smoothness in descriptions of dialogue and mannerisms of characters which I really enjoyed. But above all, what Sen has done truly well is slyly slipped in deep inflections on how Indians think and behave in what appears to be a straightforward narrative. You are then forced to stop and re-read and nod your head in solemn agreement. A few examples:
"After many years of puzzling over it, she’d decided it was that Ma had one of each, a girl and a boy, so she had no need for Lata — just a spare, and not a spare of the right gender either."
"Love is hardly an appropriate subject at a respectable wedding."
"We’ll beat someone on the head with some blame we think she’s unaware of; the thought that she feels no guilt for what she’s doing is anathema to us; but the moment the person exhibits signs of remorse and feels pain for it, we hasten to assure her it’s not that bad at all, that she shouldn’t beat herself up about things. It’s almost like we want to see pain. Once we see signs of distress we are comforted that things are as they should be."
As an aspiring writer myself, I found myself in awe at these junctures.
I would have liked a bit more on the love angle with Kuhu and Karno. Perhaps in a sequel?
The novel could have been little shorter than this to keep it crisp. The lengthy description of certain plots were shifting the novel towards boring saga sometimes.
The book set in the present day - unravelled through the eyes of Chitrangda, travels back and forth in time. It chronicles the journey of two girls Mala and Lata and what happens when a night of mischief turns into a mishap. The Incident lives such a deep impact on the lives of both of them. The author keeps us hooked on the mystery..
The author has a very easy writing style. Kathputli keeps you engrossed till the end..
The author seamlessly travels between two periods .
Seriously, read this book if you want to hear a good story!