Wednesday, 17 August 2011

BLUE EYES by Hema Macherla

Looking round our local library a few weeks ago with Ann I spotted a book which looked interesting and, on reading the dust cover, I thought it would be of interest to her. She had a look, agreed and so we borrowed it. When we got home I read the first few pages and thought I would read it myself when she finished it. On the cover it says this “Set in Gandhi’s volatile India, the story opens with Anjali aged eighteen, about to be burnt alive on her husband’s funeral pyre – the conventional widow’s fate” 

Escaping, Anjali is assisted by her childhood friend, Saleem in this fast moving and beautifully written narrative which features the violence surrounding India’s struggle for freedom.

Hema Macherla was born in India but now lives in London. She is a talented writer who writes convincingly about a transitional time in India’s history when the Raj was still very much in place. Anjali is a Hindu whilst Saleem is a Muslim and this book deals with these religions as well as a mention of Christianity. It deals with the sometimes irrational Indian traditions and the caste system.

Although I have only visited India once I fell in love with it finding it a totally fascinating country and live in hope of going there again before too long.

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