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A People's History of Heaven

by Mathangi Subramanian

A People's History of Heaven by Mathangi Subramanian X
A People's History of Heaven by Mathangi Subramanian
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  • Beverly J. (Hoover, AL)
    Beautiful, emotionally evocative storytelling
    I so enjoy when a story drags me to where they want me to be as these five fearsome girls sneak their way into your heart. Raised in a Bangalore slum, each character gets to provide their backstory that centers around lives defined around by femaleness and class structure as they fight for their future, adventures, and just to be. The unnamed first person plural narrative voice showcases the ingenuity and solidarity of the characters in the unconditional acceptance of each other and each just want to live their best life.

    This lithe tale while explore our humanity is as profound as it is entertaining.

    Female power shines brightly!
  • Gaye R. (Coupeville, WA)
    This is a book of friendship and love among the women and girls of Heaven, a slum in Bangalore, India. Despite(or maybe because of)their poverty and day to day struggles to live, they support and protect one another with a fierce loyalty. My admiration for these women and their strong passions made this book an easy read for me. In fact, it was difficult for me to put the book down.

    The more I read about each girl and woman the more they became dear to me as friends. An introduction of "The People of Heaven" at the beginning of the novel, had me embracing each women and girl before I had even read the first page. I was sorry to have the book end which means I will read again and that is the highest compliment I can bestow on a book.
  • Molly K. (San Jose, CA)
    A Caste of Jewels
    Do not be deceived! This is a book of poetry. The words glisten off the page, and they are alive. It has been a privilege to read this story.

    Five young women, with their families, friends, and teachers, live in poverty. Yet they find the strength and stamina to fight the destruction of their community. To some readers, the players might be considered misfits, but most readers will cherish their relationships, their insights, and the love they have for each other.

    I found the plot to unfold slowly. Normally, this is a distraction. This time, the writing is so beautiful that I loved every page. I look forward to the writer's next offering.
  • Susan U. (Brookfield, WI)
    I loved this book. It's a book about girls and women who have nothing but their friendships, their desire for something better and their absolute devotion to one another. One is nearly blind, one is gay, one is transsexual - all are poor. The book takes you on a journey through their lives and their fight to save Heaven, the slum that is their home. Sit with them a while and get lost in the beautiful prose that describes the colors, sights and sounds of the world they live in. You will be blessed by having shared time with them.
  • Windell H. (Rock Hill, SC)
    Standing your ground.
    Great read! This is a story about people at their best and society at it's worse. The writer has created a story in which we can all identify. Big government versus the down trodden.This book appeals to the compassion in all of us. Young and old can find themselves in these characters.This book also presents questions great for group discussion. Reminds one of the trials and tribulations of the "Radium Girls". Great story of young women coming of age.
  • Sally H. (Geneva, OH)
    A People's History of Heaven
    I loved this book: the story lines, the characters, the things I learned about another culture, and the writing. I was sorry to see the book because I wanted to know how everyone's lives turned out. I would recommend this book and plan to suggest it to my book club.
  • Sandi W.
    Mother/daughter dynamics
    A poor lowly slum in Bangalore, hidden behind the city high rises. Houses physically built from scrapes. But the homes built with love. Five families - five young girls, well almost - who fight to live in this squalor they call Heaven, as bulldozers nosily idle nearby, waiting for a chance to grind up what little they have.

    This book reminds me so much of Amy Tan's Joy Luck Club. Different nationality, different daily agenda, but the same mother/daughter dynamics. This is a debut novel, as was the Joy Luck Club for Tan, but it shows the resounding promise for Subramanian that sparked Tan's future career.
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