Advance reader reviews of The Milk Lady of Bangalore

The Milk Lady of Bangalore

An Unexpected Adventure

by Shoba Narayan

The Milk Lady of Bangalore by Shoba Narayan X
The Milk Lady of Bangalore by Shoba Narayan

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  • Lee M. (Creve Coeur, MO)

    Do Cows Smile
    The price of milk, the price of cows, the price of friendship, all are superbly explored in this book. Some basis in fact, I believe, the narrative is enlivened by Ms. Nayaran's mischievous sense of humor. Her research regarding the customs and traditions about cows, languages, and other 'only in India' information is a great plus. I thought the first half of the book could have been tightened a bit so more of a 4.5 instead of a solid 5. Heartily recommend.
  • Courtney N. (Chicago, IL)

    Cow Culture
    I found this book very interesting in its coverage of why cows are so important in Indian culture and how that manifests itself in daily life. The author as an Indian woman who also had lived in the USA had a unique perspective of both understanding the importance of the cow and also understanding why those outside of the culture don't get it.
  • Patricia T. (Fallbrook, CA)

    The Milk Lady of Bangalore
    If you are looking for an informal tutorial on the Hindu religion, in particular the significance of the cow in every day life, this is for you. Written by an ex-pat returning to India with her family after 20 successful years in the west, it is endearing, and very funny in a dry way. It revolves around her relationship with the local milk lady, and how she deals with the frustrations and contrasts of modern India. We don't really learn how the milk lady feels, just how she lives and reacts to her new friend. A great read for young readers, it will give them a look at another culture in a gentle but genuine way.
  • Poornima A. (Walpole, MA)

    Average at best
    I couldn't figure out what this book is about: is it about the author's relationship with Sarala, the cow lady, about the author's move back to India from the United States, about the new India? Probably a mix of all, the book is light and airy at times and veers off into deep explanations about Hinduism and the role of the cow at others. All of it topped with Narayan's incredulous tone at the situations in which she finds herself gives the narrative too much distance to really let the reader dive in. An occasionally lively read but too often it reads like the author has milked much too slender a story for an entire book.
  • Virginia M. (San Antonio, TX)

    My opinion
    This book was not what I expected. I saw in BookBrowse that it was categorized as a "biography/memoir" and I somehow expected something different than what this book turned out to be. I thought it would be more of the typical type of memoir about some part of the author's life with a little informative data about Indian cows. It turned out to mostly about milk and cows interwoven into a little bit of the typical memoir type stuff.

    I did enjoy reading the assortment of experiences that the author had as she befriended the lady from whom she bought milk every day and I learned a whole lot about cows and their by-products, e.g. urine and "poop".

    By the time I reached the end of the book, however, I was suffering from an overload of information about such things as which type of cow provides the best milk and other previously unknown facts and figures about cows in general and Indian cows in particular.

    So now comes the question: Would I recommend this book? It may be sort of a cop-out, but I will put it this way: If you are interested in learning some interesting facts about the life of a cow in India, then I think this is surely the book for you. Or, if you are the type of person who just enjoys reading non-fiction books that can add to your overall knowledge on different subjects, then I think you might want to add this to your list. If, however, you have no reason to want to learn more about customs and mores of the cow culture of India, I am not sure this is the book for you.
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