Advance reader reviews of Evening Is the Whole Day by Preeta Samarasan.

Evening Is the Whole Day

By Preeta Samarasan

Evening Is the Whole Day
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  • Published in USA  May 2008,
    352 pages.

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There are currently 15 member reviews
for Evening Is the Whole Day
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  • Marcia (Batavia IL)


    Evening Is The Whole Day
    It took me about 90 very slowly read pages to get into this book. I had trouble keeping the characters straight. However, after making a list of each, who they were, etc., I finally got into the novel. I totally loved her descriptions and began to feel as though I were in Malaysia, a country of which I know little. I enjoyed Samarasan's style of back-tracking which I found was never confusing. My one real criticism was her continual use of Malay words with no given translations. Overall, I enjoyed the book and would not hesitate to recommend it to my book club. I look forward to reading her next novel.
  • Mary (Boston MA)


    Evening is the Whole Day
    Preeta Samarasan's debut book is an energizing and colorful painting of a family's complex web of lies and secrets. Personally, the reason I read fiction is to escape and become a part of someone else's reality. Here I found myself so taken in by Malaysia, the place, the people and utterly caught in the "high drama" of the family history of the Rajasekharan's. Her story comes to life in each of the characters with a refreshing sense of humor. I couldn't wait to read each page!
  • Ruth (Westport MA)


    A spellbinding story
    Preeta Samarasan weaves language, time and characters in such a way as to carry the reader into a different culture and history. She creates an even web, teaching and enchanting even as each event and person come to life, showing that what one sees at a given moment in time is really a layered reality that can never be known without all the normally imperceptible small daily realities. Malaysia, its turbulent history and peoples, comes alive in minuscule happenings as they unfold in Samarasan’s impeccable arrangement of time and people. Her people live and breathe, carrying us into their tumultuous yet somnolent life in a spellbinding story that one hates to finish.
  • Joan (Ellicott City MD)


    Evening Is The Whole Day
    I was so looking forward to this first novel from an award winning new author. Her picturesque descriptions are a pleasure to read. My book is full of underlinings of wonderful phrases. My senior English teacher (high school) loved "sparkling words and flowering phrases". She would have loved this book, which is a good example of introductory creative writing. The story got lost in the beautiful language. I kept reading so I could enjoy the next descriptive passage.

    I have never met such a disfunctional family. Not one redeeming feature was exhibited from any of them. I did feel sorry for Chellam, but her character was always hiding in the shadows, so I never got to really know her. It took several chapters to get the characters straight because their names were so similar.

    It sounds like I hated the book, but that is not the case. The words and phrases were enchanting. The story was disappointing.
  • Julie (Bennington VT)


    Immerse yourself.
    Evening is The Whole Day takes place almost entirely inside of one house, and yet it feels like it contains a whole world. As the story begins, the household is in turmoil. We know something terrible has happened, but exactly what took place is unclear. Samarasan takes us deep inside of many characters, and back in time, until we can see the whole, inevitable conclusion. Although the setting was far away and long ago - Malaysia in the 1970's - the family dramas, the generational conflicts, the societal differences, felt universal. Absorbing and compelling, the language was so vivid, so sharp, that I didn't mind the slow pace of the action. A masterful first novel.
  • Iliana (Austin TX)


    Evening is the Whole Day
    I was really looking forward to reading this book. The setting, Malaysia, would be a new one for me but unfortunately the book didn't grab me as much as I hoped.

    While there are many passages with beautiful descriptions of the land, city, etc. sometimes I felt like that was actually not helping the plot move forward. I kept wanting to get on with the story. And, with regards to the characters I only felt like I got to know Aasha. So, all in all I was a bit disappointed with the novel.
  • Eileen (Palos Park IL)


    Evening Is The Whole Day
    Just a few paragraphs into Preeta Samarasan's novel I knew this was an author that would be one to watch. Her prose takes us deep into the the very nuance of each and every player surrounding a fateful day in a young girls life. The author has that rare talent to take us to another country during it's political upheaval and teach us it's rich history and traditions while maintaining a grip on the passions and feelings of the people involved. Powerfully packed sentences that tell a story in each one.
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