BOOKS READ Leelas Book AUTHOR Alice Albinia –

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I liked many elements of this book very much for instance the author shows how religion in India is ust as fraught with fundamentalists their adoration of holy writings atheists their endless feuding as the US Also I got a glimpse of how Hindu Muslim cultures simultaneously blend together fight constantly in Delhi I can assume other places However the Leela of Leela s Book didn t really come across as the central character sort of checked out of her own life for 20 years It s hard to see what the other archetypes found so compelling Also men are bastards Is the central message of this book is that men are bastards Probably not but retelling cultural mythology apparently demonstrates how historically men are complete bastards Really enjoyed this and will be looking forward to reading from this author The only thing that I had a problem with while reading was keeping the characters and families straight This is the story of two families who are about to be oined in marriage It is a love match vs an arranged marriage and the events are carefully planned and the guests chosen from the finest of their friends and colleagues Leela left India for New York City years before never returning It was her one reuest of her husband and he has honored it until this wedding He tells Leela that it is time to return to Delhi for the festivities and reluctantly she agreesThe story combines the story of the God Ganesh with the modern day characters leading to a very surprising climax The setting is an important part of the story and the descriptions of the neighborhoods the smells the foods the birds makes you feel as though you have been there yourself I should add that I found the beginning of the book hard to read and enjoy After the first 100 pages I admit that I was ready to return the book to the library and end my pain I was thinking that what I had read would receive a two star rating at the most Luckily the storyline began to change and the interest level rose Albinia was able to hook me right before I was going to shut the book for the final time Readers beware and if you have the same feeling in the opening chapters use your best Evelyn Wood speed reading techniues for the first part and then take your time and enjoy the rich story that unfolds I initially didn t like this book but as the story developed it became much interesting and entertaining I m not sure if I agree that the characters in the story were strong or had many attributes that were worth emulating but the twists were somewhat surprising and I enjoyed it at the end I do think the author managed to ca. Bold and entertaining Leela’s Book weaves a tale of contemporary Delhi that crosses religious and social boundaries Leela alluring taciturn haunted is moving from New York back to Delhi where her return will unsettle precariously balanced lives Twenty five years earlier her

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BOOKS READ Leelas Book AUTHOR Alice Albinia –

The reader in a very good way with her very personable characters The many levels of narrative make for an immensely enjoyable read and yet the language Albinia uses and ideas she weaves into the story make the whole novel come together uite lip smacking satisfyingly The last couple of chapters in fact make the whole endeavour of reading the novel than worth it This is novel about modern India and the force that the past exerts on it The prose is beautiful and a oy to read The plot though far fetched there is a god who narrates small portions of the book is very entertaining I found the ending perfectly crafted The most accurate and candid depiction of the elite the bourgeoisie and the impoverished of India through its labyrinthine and cavernous tales involving innumerable characters This is The Grand Budapest Hotel times three seriousWhat the use of colonial English typical of the Indian stilted speech sprinkled with words like learnt instead of learned and smelt instead of smelled gives an authentic air to the story Note Some spoilers are mixed in below so if you don t like them or are likely to read this in the near future I suggest you don t read onThis was an interesting concept This novel plays on the history of the Mahabarata and the theory that the Gahesha as a scribe content was a later addition to the original writing Ganesha becomes a characternarrator who plays a role explaining a second layer of background to the novel The primary story revolves around Leela returning to Delhi after years in New York to attend the wedding of her husband s niece but is forced to face up to her past including the death of her poet sister her sister s husband Vyasa and her niece nephew This plays out to a complex Indian family drama with many characters and some twists and turns It addresses such themes as inter religious relationships same sex relationships politics and academia and the uxtaposition of ancient religious rites and internet chatroomsFor me it was successful concept but I found it led to far too much foreshadowing of the story it made it fairly easy to predict some of the larger outcomes by halfway through the bookNotwithstanding this the characters were interesting and amusing there were lots of them but they played their role and then faded into the background although were somewhat unresolved due to this Without the second layer of depth I suspect the story would probably have been insufficient to carry interest As it was despite the early give away it was an enjoyable enough read for 4 stars But then I am a bit of a sucker for epic Indian novels. Drama is Ganesh divine ­elephant headed scribe of the Mahabharata India’s great epic The family may think they have arranged the wedding for their own selfish ends but according to Ganesh it is he who is directing events in a bid to save Leela his beloved heroine from Vyasa.

Pture a few of the aspects of inter religious conflict and interaction that seems to pervade South Asia as well as the rest of the world Leela s Book is a wonderful story of families which intertwines Indian mythology and the modern day complexities of life in Delhi The tale of Leela and her sister Meera weaves through time until their final story is told Throughout the novel Albinia provides a detailed background of India from the gritty slums and open sewers to the intoxicating smells of the gardens and family celebration of the upper class She does an amazing ob of drawing the reader into the story of two sisters one adopted whose youthful indiscretion so impacts their lives and their families twenty years later This is truly one of the best books I have read in a long time I am so glad that I won it from Goodreads I would hate to have overlooked it and not gotten the opportunity to read it I highly recommend it Alice Albinia takes you through the streets smells feelings and emotions of India I loved the book for the way it describes the characters their surroundings and their thoughts Alice has wonderfully captured the random passing thoughts that each character might have when they walk into a room meet a person or are A Ranchers Vow (Sons of Silver Springs) (Sons of Silver Springs) (Harlequin Intrigue just sitting by themselvesA lot of characters and yet Alice makes you live all those characters She has taken her own time to lay the setup of who lives where in what kind of home and neighborhood By the time the story picks pace you see yourself running down the streets along with the character perfectly visualizing the entire set of the bookAlice manages to start multiple story lines and beautifully bring them all together towards the end If you know Mahabharata somewhere midway through the book you will guess how it might end And yet it is a beautiful read The roller coaster of emotions across typical Indian religious and social boundaries takes you by surpriseMuch like Ganesh you feel like a spectator while reading the book While the story is fine it s the description of the characters and their emotions that breathes life into the story I started Leela s Book unimpressed having recently finished reading Tharoor s The Great Indian Novel and Seth s Unsuitable Boy the familiarity of premise and theme failed to flatter what I was reading of Albinia s text I surmised that she too must have read these two renown novels prior to writing this particular novel Then she redeemed herself Leela s Book is an intelligent treatiseuxtaposing epic myth religion and politics as we come to expect with Indian themed novels I guess however she tickles. Ister was seduced by the egotistical Vyasa Now an eminent Sanskrit scholar Vyasa is preparing for his son’s marriage But when Leela arrives she disrupts the careful choreography of the wedding with its myriad attendees and their conflicting desiresGleefully presiding over the.

Alice Albinia read English Literature at Cambridge University After graduating she moved to Delhi where she worked for the next two a half years as a journalist and editor for the Centre for Science & Environment Biblio A Review of Books Outlook Traveller and several other Indian newspapers and magazinesIt was during this time as she travelled around the country writing articles and featu