As an author I am often invited to comment on or endorse a book and love to oblige, sometimes this can be a chore as I have to read material I wouldn't normally choose. In the case of 'Freedom of the Monsoon' I could say the subject matter would have fallen into that category, but Malika Ghandi has changed that with her compelling debut novel. I will now be looking for similar books and would without hesitation recommend her work.
Beautifully written and narrated through five friends living in India during the period their wonderful country fought for its independence from British rule in 1947, Freedom of the Monsoon shows us, through these characters eyes, how the fight was won, but how hollow the victory turned out to be.
Be ready to love them all and to gain empathy and insight into them as you experience each one's sometimes harrowing journey through a conflict which broke their much loved nation into a division of its people and land.
The five young people are all friends and though their lives are entwined we are with each one on their own journey as they struggle to cope, fall in love, and take on a life they didn't plan to have.
The reader is not a witness to the events as in a story that is told to us, but participates in the culture - both the gentleness and love of family to all its members and friends, and the effect the tearing apart of a nation had on its people and the extreme violence of the day.
The Indian culture is embedded in the book. The reader 'sees' the colours, the clothes and the beauty of the land. They attend weddings and taste and smell the spices, they suffer the same losses, and they hear the language as the author sometimes interjects English with Urdo. But, this last is not a problem, it is an experience as each phrase or address used is explained at the bottom of the page and a quick glance at the reference enhances the experience rather that detracts from it.
In my opinion this is a book that should be nominated for a literary prize and feted by the big publishing houses. Authors of the calibre of Malika Ghandi should not have to go it alone. The fact that they do have to indicates that there is something very wrong with the 'money orientated' publishing world.
I hope if you are reading this you will chose to buy the book as by doing so you will begin a new path in reading as I have no other I can compare it with. I can only say it is an enthralling read and one I would highly recommend to you.