As usual it was great to see everyone!!! Even though some of you were a surprise … to me anyways 🙂
We all agreed that this was yet another “very deep” book, with many facets and deep socio/geopolitico (I know, I just made that one up:) ) implications. Which does not mean that people did not like the book, those who finished it 🙂
Even though half the group did not finish the book we were all touched in one way or another by the diversity and hardships of the characters’ lives. The words that most described the book for us were; Chaotic, hopeless, draining, harsh, bottom (I liked this one 🙂 but it really meant that many of the characters seemed to have reached rock bottom in their lives), we also have an ehhhhhhhh from Courtney… On the positive side we had a surprised and charming!!
The reason people liked the book was the accurate representation of life in India. The depiction and narration of the caste system witch dictates the social order of Indian society was vividly described as well as the political environment of the times. As much for those who were familiar with India as for those who were not, it was a “documentary” type book on the country. It was mentioned however, that the hardships are so alien to our society that it sometimes bordered on the “non-credible” side.
A number of discussions developed throughout the evening about the characters evolution and fates. Their place in society and the historical weight of traditions, the value different cultures put on life as well as if the drama (tragedies) was overkill. Seriously, how many bad things can happen to one person!!
The consensus was that the characters were all very interesting in the way they handled desperation, joy and everyday life.
One of the questions (from the list provided by internet:) ) was, “what effect is achieved by the novel’s mildly comic ending, with Om and Ishvar clowning around at Dina’s door? Is the ending appropriate or off balance?” We all agreed there is no comic element to this book!! However Philip, our quote master, did find us a quote at a funeral march no less, that had the potential of being funny… “Trust me, heads will roll for this blunder” 🙂
For next month, and the few that will follow, we all agreed that lighter books would be great. The choice for May is A Good Year by Peter Mayle.
Max Skinner has recently lost his job to a London financial firm and just as recently learned that he has inherited his late uncle’s vineyard in Provence. On arrival he finds the climate delicious, the food even better and two of the locals ravishing.
Unfortunately, the wine produced on his property is swill. Why are there so many people interested in his new property? Enter a beguiling Californian who knows more about the wine than Max does and may have a better claim to the estate…
And for June, for those who want to get a head start, the choice is a two book experiment 🙂