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The Inheritance of Loss

The Inheritance of Loss
Kiran Desai
324 pages

First sentence:  All day, the colors had been those of dusk, mist moving like a water creature across the great flanks of mountains possessed of ocean shadows and depths.

Reflections:  The Inheritance of Loss won the Booker Prize in 2006.  The novel is set in India during the 1980s, and the plot centered around political conflict.  I'm sure if I had more knowledge of the situation in India at that time, I would have appreciated the novel more.  Kiran Desai's prose is lyrical and beautiful.  It was her writing that held my interest.  

I failed to identify with most of the characters.  Each of the main characters is an outsider:  for various reasons they are not in their home country or have spent so much time away from India that they feel out of place.  For example, two elderly women who spent extensive time in England, ensure they always have on hand "familiar comforts" such as English foods and clothing.  This I could relate to, having spent 4 years away from my home country.  Although it was a fantastic experience, many times I felt like an outsider and knew I would never be fully part of the local community.  I've been surprised to feel even more of an outsider since returning "home."  Living abroad changes you in many ways.  It's made me stronger and more thoughtful, and increased my curiosity about other cultures.  Unfortunately there are few I can share this experience with so it remains a somewhat hidden part of who I am ...

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
8 / 50

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
2,954 / 15,000


Mar. 14th, 2007 08:20 pm (UTC)
I have 100 pages left to go in this book...and I'm also captivated by Desai's beautiful, lyrical prose. I must admit, that I am a little lost at times with the plot because of my ignorance of Indian culture (including the caste distinctions) and also the history; even still this book will most likely get a high rating from me. By the way...you may have seen this on my blog, but several other bloggers (including me) are reading through the NYT Most Notable Fiction of 2006 together. You can chose to read whichever ones you'd like, no pressure at all! We started a group blog to journal our reviews and a place we can discuss the different books. Feel free to come check it out...and join us if you'd like. I think you'd fit right in with the types of books we're reading! We are here: http://nytnotablebooks.blogspot.com/