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Girls Burn Brighter


An extraordinary and heart-rending tale of two girls with all the odds against...
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Discuss Girls Burn Brighter by Shobha Rao:
Did you find the novel's ultimate message to be at all optimistic or hopeful? Why or why not?

Created: 02/27/19

Replies: 18

Posted Feb. 27, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 1830

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Did you find the novel's ultimate message to be at all optimistic or hopeful? Why or why not?

Did you find the novel's ultimate message to be at all optimistic or hopeful? Why or why not?


Posted Mar. 04, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Marcia S

Join Date: 02/08/16

Posts: 214

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RE: Did you find the novel's ultimate message to be at all optimistic or hopeful? Why or why not?

I don't think "optimistic" or "hopeful" describe the message. I'd say "perseverance" is the word that covers this story. These two women could have given up and been mentally and emotionally destroyed at any point, yet they found the inner strength to move forward. My heart broke for them yet I totally admired their will to overcome horrible conditions in their lives. Perhaps, if there's a sequel, it will provide optimism and hopefulness?


Posted Mar. 04, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
renem

Join Date: 12/01/16

Posts: 227

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RE: Did you find the novel's ultimate message to be at all optimistic or hopeful? Why or why not?

I think it was more mental strength and perseverance. Were the girls hopeful for the future, yes, but they were realistic too and smart enough to get themselves out of their horrible situations.


Posted Mar. 05, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
jamiek

Join Date: 11/21/17

Posts: 18

RE: Did you find the novel's ultimate message to be at all optimistic or hopeful? Why or why not?

I would like to say yes, but knowing the author's penchant for heaping tragedy upon tragedy, and the reality of the situation, it could go either direction.


Posted Mar. 05, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
sarap

Join Date: 03/16/15

Posts: 10

RE: Did you find the novel's ultimate message to be at all optimistic or hopeful? Why or why not?

I found it very optimistic because women do best when they support each other. They kept on living the best they could in hope and that made them strong.


Posted Mar. 05, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
reene

Join Date: 02/18/15

Posts: 337

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RE: Did you find the novel's ultimate message to be at all optimistic or hopeful? Why or why not?

I did not feel optimistic or hopeful after reading the novel. I think maybe there was some hope because if you are alive there is hope. Both women demonstrated such strength that together there is the possibility of a future. I would think much will depend on the character of Mohan, who had many issues of his own.


Posted Mar. 06, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
laurap

Join Date: 06/19/12

Posts: 246

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RE: Did you find the novel's ultimate message to be at all optimistic or hopeful? Why or why not?

I too saw a message encouraging perseverance more so than hope or optimism -- although I guess there is hope in perseverance; otherwise why bother. But on the whole I found the book to be quite a downer.


Posted Mar. 06, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Lori

Join Date: 09/15/11

Posts: 14

RE: Did you find the novel's ultimate message to be at all optimistic or hopeful? Why or why not?

I would not say that this was a story of "optimism" or "hope," but rather one of perseverance and resilience in the face of the horrible circumstances the women endured.


Posted Mar. 06, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
rebajane

Join Date: 04/21/11

Posts: 230

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RE: Did you find the novel's ultimate message to be at all optimistic or hopeful? Why or why not?

I echo the sentiment of perseverance. I did not feel either optimistic or hopeful. Agree with laurap that it was mostly a downer for me


Posted Mar. 06, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
peggya

Join Date: 06/03/15

Posts: 33

RE: Did you find the novel's ultimate message to be at all optimistic or hopeful? Why or why not?

If these characters were able to sustain their determination to finally reunite with one another—which they did, I’d consider it a triumph of hope over a despair that would have them become automans and part of the living dead. I found the book hopeful in the face of overwhelming odds, one can survive and still retain ones’ soul.


Posted Mar. 13, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
laurag

Join Date: 04/16/12

Posts: 17

RE: Did you find the novel's ultimate message to be at all optimistic or hopeful? Why or why not?

As a reader, I remained hopeful for the girls. I can't say I expected a happy ending but I thought perhaps they would have experienced some sort of triumph that the reader would experience with them. I'm fine with open ended books but this one had just too many unanswered questions.


Posted Mar. 13, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
ColoradoGirl

Join Date: 05/16/16

Posts: 47

RE: Did you find the novel's ultimate message to be at all optimistic or hopeful? Why or why not?

I agree with many here that the message is one of perseverance. I do think ultimately it's better that both woman are in the US -- I hope that they can stay here. I hadn't thought about a sequel until I read some of these comments. I'm used to foreign language films ending with unresolved plots, so that thought didn't cross my mind.


Posted Mar. 13, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
acstrine

Join Date: 02/06/17

Posts: 105

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RE: Did you find the novel's ultimate message to be at all optimistic or hopeful? Why or why not?

When I first read this question, like a lot of other commenters, I did not see hope or optimism as a message anywhere. But after thinking about it, I do think they are both there. After Poornima left her husband's house, she immediately began her search for Savitha. It never occurred to her that she would not find her. Only near the end of the book when asked "what happens if she is not there" by Mohan, did Poornima break down and admit she did not know. I think she didn't know because that wasn't a thought she ever considered. In her mind and heart and through her actions, she knew she would find her friend. Poornima's perseverance and resilience were driven by hope and optimism.

Sarap's comment is so powerful! Even when she was the most alone, as long as she had her piece of sari, Savitha knew she had the love and support of her friend. I believe that knowing drove her to run away again.

Both girls always ran forward-never back. That speaks of hope to me.


Posted Mar. 13, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
ColoradoGirl

Join Date: 05/16/16

Posts: 47

RE: Did you find the novel's ultimate message to be at all optimistic or hopeful? Why or why not?

Great thoughts acstrine! It was heartbreaking when she broke down when Mohan asked her that question . . .


Posted Mar. 13, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
charleneds

Join Date: 03/21/17

Posts: 24

RE: Did you find the novel's ultimate message to be at all optimistic or hopeful? Why or why not?

I was left with a feeling of optimism when I finished the book. I felt there were possibilities - they had a chance at a life. They were connected on another level the moment they met and that connection is what motivated them to survive.


Posted Mar. 13, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
tswaine

Join Date: 09/14/11

Posts: 52

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RE: Did you find the novel's ultimate message to be at all optimistic or hopeful? Why or why not?

I think both girls were optimistic in that they both got out of the bad situations they were in. And they were hopeful that they would see each other again.


Posted Mar. 15, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
scgirl

Join Date: 06/05/18

Posts: 105

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RE: Did you find the novel's ultimate message to be at all optimistic or hopeful? Why or why not?

I found the book's message to be hopeful. Regardless of circumstances, humans persevere and as long as there is life, there is hope. How much more brutal could these women's lives be? Rape, rejection, injury, drug abuse, physical mutilation, and slavery - is there any terrible thing left out of the story? Yet, Poornima and Savitha hoped for more, for different, for freedom and strove to attain it. They didn't just dream it and give up. The hope for better became a fire in their lives, a driving force in their actions. I believe the book, regardless of the traumas, was indeed optimistic and hopeful.


Posted Mar. 22, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
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donnac

Join Date: 03/26/14

Posts: 139

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RE: Did you find the novel's ultimate message to be at all optimistic or hopeful? Why or why not?

I finished the book feeling hopeful for the girls because they were both so strong and resourceful. However I was not optimistic for the world. That women - fifty percent of the population - are treated and regarded so poorly and cruelly in 21st Century is something that we as human beings ought to be ashamed of. Because there are so many girls/women in various areas of the world where men assume ownership of them, who are not as strong and resourceful and will simply accept their miserable destiny.


Posted Apr. 01, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
JulieAB

Join Date: 07/16/13

Posts: 95

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RE: Did you find the novel's ultimate message to be at all optimistic or hopeful? Why or why not?

In the end, I found hope and optimism because they were reuniting, or at least I am assuming the reunited. So, I had hope. It was a difficult read with all the tragic things these girls went through.


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