Thursday, August 11, 2011

Book #4: What the Body Remembers

I knew I was ignorant about a lot of the world's history, but this book blew me away.

Set in pre-partition India (I do NOT remember even being taught about the partition save for Rushdie's Midnight's Children), Shauna Singh Baldwin describes the places, food, ethnic groups, spiritual factions, and politics surrounding two co-wives and their prominent husband, an irrigation specialist in the Punjab region.

The imagery is vivid and the perspectives personal and gripping. The author did well to have the main characters share their own voice, each in time. Faith (I had no idea what a Sikh believed), tradition, modesty, "face", birth order, locale, gender, caste, and British Empire oversight weave a rich tapestry around these characters.

(In an interesting twist of my own opinion, I am now very skeptical of Mr. Ghandi for reasons I hope you'll find intriguing in the book!)

I wish history books were written in similar fashion and I expect in the near future we may read something similar out of Afghanastan.

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