Rated of 5
by Iliana (Austin TX)
The Toss of a Lemon
Author Padma Viswanathan sets out to tell an epic story of a woman and her family living in India from 1896-1962. Sivakami is a Brahamin woman who is married off at 10 but by the time she is 18 she's already a widow.
She has two children but her life is dictated by what is expected of widowed women, basically that they shut themselves off from society because after all something must be wrong for them to be widow. It is as if they were a bad omen.
Interesting tidbits of what is expected of widowed women are shared in this narrative. That in my opinion is the strength of the novel but even though this is supposed to be the story of Sivakami, I felt that I still didn't know her well enough at the end of the book. I wanted to know what she thought of all the rules placed before her.
Normally I don't judge a book by its size but in this case I do think the novel went on for too long.