- Format: Kindle Edition
- File Size: 631 KB
- Print Length: 258 pages
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
- Language: English
- ASIN: B0068621V6
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Average Customer Review: 33 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #240,005 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Sari Caste Kindle Edition
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Top customer reviews
This is an exceptionally powerful and moving story, all the more emotive since it is based on real events. Ms Kirby is a wonderful storyteller and leads the reader with consummate skill into the steamy streets of Calcutta where obscene wealth rubs shoulders with the most abject poverty - and where everything is for sale.
I was gripped from the start as I followed Manasa into places I would never have dared to venture alone. Dreadful things happen in this story, but it is not all about misery and fear. It is about the courage and ingenuity of one young woman and, above all, the human capacity for love.
I shall not forget this story. It has the impact of some of the great epic dramas such as 'The Grapes of Wrath' and 'The Good Earth.' Ms Kirby is an author worth looking out for.
At the start I felt the story was moving too quickly because important parts of the story seemed to be "glossed over" slightly but I soon realised that those elements of the story were really just setting the scene for the main event, so to speak, although it did mean that it took me a little longer to warm to the main character Manasa.
The main action of the book takes part in a Calcutta brothel and describes what a harsh lifestyle the working girls have there. Some of the events are really quite upsetting, the author pulls no punches and certainly does not glamourise the life of a prostitute in any way whatsoever.
The prose is beautiful, at times you are totally transported to Calcutta and can almost smell the spices and other fragrances of the market. The characters, on the whole, are very well thought out, maybe a touch stereotypical here and there, but good enough for you to either like or dislike each one. The only character that did irritate me at all was in fact Manasa who did some pretty stupid things early on in the book which were quite key to the plot, but who never actually questions her own behaviour until right at the end of the book. Even though she has a good heart and means well most of the time, some times she can be a total idiot and some of the other characters do have a tendency to sometimes just go along with whatever she wants. In her defence, when things go wrong for her, or people don't do what she would like, she doesn't spend time wallowing in self pity,she just shrugs it off, makes the most of a bad job and carries on as best she can.
The plot is well thought out and moves at a good pace, you never get bored with the action although it is not an easy read by any means. I look forward to reading more from the author.
Manasa is a fantastic character! She is what I would call extremely independent, but lives in a traditional world where forced marriages are still practiced, and girls are seen as lower than dirt. I really liked her! She is feisty and determined.
I started reading this story and was completely captured within the first few sentences! I found myself swept up in a completely different culture. Manasa is a character that everyone can relate to, no matter what religion is practiced or background they come from. I think that religion and dogma have a lot to answer to! Just because I am a woman, I don't think that men are better than me. But there are several religions and traditions that preach that women are lower than men, and are meant to serve them and/or be treated worse than an animal. Granted, tradition has it's uses, but it's not flexible; This story brought that home to me. Manasa has to face some difficult decisions that I would balk at, but she takes them in stride. I admired her bravery in her decisions, but shuddered at what she had to do to survive. I loved meeting all the other characters, who had their own issues to deal with, but there are some really unsavoury characters that made me cringe and want to avoid them at all costs! This story is woven with the intricacy of one of Manasa's sari's. There is lots of different layers to this story, but above all, it's a testament to one woman's determination to give her daughter a family, and a chance for a better life.
Catherine Kirby has written an amazing story that is deeply touching and extremely believable. Her descriptions of the characters and environs brought this book to life. Although not particularly fast paced, the story flowed beautifully and kept me hooked until the last page! I am now looking forward to reading more of this author's work in the future.
Although not overly graphic, there are scenes of violence and abuse that may upset some readers. Therefore, I do not recommend this to younger readers or those of a nervous disposition. However, I do highly recommend this book if you are looking for a completely captivating read! - Lynn Worton
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