Author: Rasan Atroya
Publisher: Self published
Type of book: India, prostitution, countryside, mindset, single motherhood, secrets, suicide, rape, devadasi, temple dedication, 2000s
Year it was published: 2014
Ensnared by a tradition hundreds of years old, a woman fights for her daughter’s happiness.
From the author of 'Tell A Thousand Lies,' which was shortlisted for the 2012 Tibor Jones South Asia award. UK's Glam magazine calls 'Tell A Thousand Lies' on of their 'five favourite tales from India.'
If you like Rohinton Mistry or Shilpi Somaya Gowda,you might like this short story of 40 pages.
I do apologize for not being able to recall some of the characters. The main character is Godavari, a young and single mother who was forced to become a devadasi, and is pushed on by her father to do so. Despite her station and circumstances, she hopes the best she can for her young daughter Sreeja. There are also two young ladies, cousins or sisters or friends, who visit Godavari and listen to her story and their thinking is more of American than Indian. They also enchant the daughter, Sreeja. Ultimately their visits set things in motion and teach the reader things they are not able to imagine.
Nothing is what it seems
I cannot recall if the story is told in first or third person, but I suspect it might have been in third person. The story begins with a mystery and most of it is taken up with dialogue between the woman and two girls throughout the months. Its hard to believe that this still goes on in modern times instead of ancient ones! I do hope that the author will choose to expand on the story and draw out the main female character a lot more.
Rasana is the author of Amazon bestseller 'Tell A Thousand Lies', which was also shortlisted for the 2012 Tibor Jones South Asia award. UK’s Glam magazine calls this novel one of their five favourite tales from India (June 2014). Her other works are 'The Temple Is Not My Father' and '28 Years A Bachelor'.
Now on to more personal stuff – Rasana would like to be able to tell her readers that she once stopped a robbery single-handedly, except she’s terrified of robbers. And geckos. And two-year-olds who throw tantrums. When she’s not running scared, she’s mother to a girl and a boy who were respectively six and eleven years-old when they wrote and illustrated 'The Mosquito and the Teapot'. She lives with her husband and children in Hyderabad, India, where a lot of her stories are set.
She blogs at: http://rasanaatreya.wordpress.com
Three words: Short and powerful. I do apologize for neglecting to review the story, but I'm doing so now. Although I read it months ago, the words and the story have never left my mind, and in my free moments, I can still capture its echoes and voice. I do admit that I found a little bit predictable, but despite that, it has a really powerful and shocking ending that will leave a reader breathless and unable to form coherent thoughts. I also have not heard of anything like that in India, which rather means that the author has focused attention on something previously unknown.
This was given to me by the author
5 out of 5
(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)