Monthly Archives: December 2013

The Unknown Error of Our Lives – Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni

 

Plot: 4/5

Language: 4/5

Summary: In 9 short stories, Divakaruni masterfully narrates the lives of individual Indian women; a widow, a wife, a lover, a sister, a daughter. These Indian women are thrust into the American culture of liberalism.  Needless to say, there is a battle of cultures, beliefs and most certainly will. The short stories do not always provide a happy ending for each woman. The author provokes a response from readers through their plight as the women struggle to reconcile culture, hopes and dreams and past and present.

The prose is eloquent and artistic. Although it tends toward much description and may thus be a turn off for some, the cultural references and rich imagery do add to greater understanding of the text as a whole.

This piece of migratory literature is compelling as it elucidates the painful yet hopeful rewards of change.

Review: Divakaruni may be no Catherine Lim or Adeline Yen Ma, but she is a master at what she does. Her literary prowess and her ability to chronicle poignant moments in the lives of not just women, but Indian women is spectacular. This may not be a tear jerking book, but it does beckon one to question the role of women in a patriarchal society. Although these women have to some extent been subsumed into American culture, there is a longing for home; its familiarity, its rich values and also its archaic and perhaps obsolete superstitions and ideals in the liberal and modern world. This book was not wholly a page turner because of the extravagant language (but I guess it’s inherent for Asian authors), but it did make me think “What is/are the unknown error(s) of my life?” The struggle of the women is not because of the error in their lives, but rather the could have/should have/would haves, which the author divulges as she take us on a journey into their psyche and interpersonal lives.

Moral of the story: “It is not the eyes that are blind, but the hearts” The Koran

The Five People You Meet In Heaven

Hey guys!

HAHA i guess i’m gonna start the ball rolling. No rules, just remember to include title + author and sign off! 

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Author: Mitch Albom

Rating: 4.8/5

 

This book is about how Eddie, a lonely war veteran, dies and arrives in heaven. I really like this book cause the author’s idea of heaven is really intriguing- heaven isn’t just a static place like a palace made of gold with singing angels, halos and harps. According to the author, heaven is a place where five people will stand in line to explain your earthly life to you – the significance, morals and life lessons you’ve somehow missed. These people range from loved ones to random strangers you think you have no connection with; in actual fact, all these five people have contributed to the major changes in your life. I love how this book’s language is really simple, when I borrowed it, I was like woah this does not resemble an adult book at all. (cause the words on each page are not microscopic like most adult books but yes I found it in the adult section HAHA) But despite the simple language, it’s a real ‘food for thought’ kinda book. I mean it’s rare that I’d actually reread some paragraphs/lines to try to get a more analytical viewpoint. But I did. I like the idea of how people’s lives are inter-connected and this book has done an excellent job of showing how we are all intricately bound to one another 🙂 I guess the only downside is how it seems a little messy? Cause you get flashes of Eddie’s life and you have to piece them together yourself! But i guess it’s a narrative technique (HAHA stevens) and the resolution is great 🙂 So yeah, highly recommended read. Especially for long train rides. I couldn’t have survived from bradell to bukit panjang if it wasn’t for this.

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Char