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Customer Review

on 31 March 2000
I was rather disappointed . . . Anita Desai writes beautifully, describing Uma's life and the colours of her life, the people around her with such clarity that she transports the reader to a very real place, that place is where Uma lives.
Part one . . . Uma lives in a place where Uma is worthless, beauty, irrelevant in the lager scheme of things and escape in the form of her sister Aruna, empty and shallow as a shopping trip to Singapore.
Part two . . . this is juxtaposed with an equally empty and worthless 'western' version, this time peopled by her brother Arun and the Patton family. I got the feeling that Desai was trying to portray the atlas weakling in Arun and indeed I did feel he was as weak as a comic-book figure.
Part one and two were tied together with a shawl and tea and it left me thinking that perhaps I had read two different stories instead of a novel and just not realized it.
The language is, however, exquisite . . .
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