Rated of 5
by Laura (Houston TX)
A Luminescent View of a Rarely Seen India
Padma Viswanathan's debut novel is so heartbreaking and engaging that I would challenge anyone not to read it in one sitting (all 640 pages!). Each character is so richly drawn that whether the reader loves the character or not, she will surely want to find out his fate.
A reader doesn't have to have a particular interest in India in order to enjoy this book; in fact, I fit into this category. I was fascinated by the intricate details and even the strange beauty of the turn of the century caste system, even while I was, at times, almost repulsed by its strictures.
This book is an ideal selection for book clubs, lovers of family sagas, those who desire to know more about the Indian caste system, or anyone who loves a good, lyrically written story. To call this book a beach read would almost demean it, but it is a book to get lost in, and that is the highest recommendation I can give it.