05 March, 2015

#BookReview :: The Temple Is Not My Father by Rasana Atreya

Ensnared by a tradition hundreds of years old, a woman fights for her daughter’s happiness. 

From the author of 'Tell A Thousand Lies,' which was shortlisted for the 2012 Tibor Jones South Asia award. UK's Glam magazine calls 'Tell A Thousand Lies' on of their 'five favourite tales from India.' 

If you like Rohinton Mistry or Shilpi Somaya Gowda,you might like this short story of 40 pages. 

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Oh My GOD! Yes, that was my first reaction when the book ended. For a short novella of forty odd pages, ‘The Temple is not My Father’ is a hell of a roller coaster ride.

The story tells us about the journey of Godavari. At the tender age of 8, Godavari was dedicated to the temple and became a devadasi. The journey from there on has been filled with thorns and hurdles and yet the lady never loses her spunk. The story also tells us about her daughter Sreeja, a youngling who is innocent and full of questions. Then there are Sreeja’s second cousins Vanaja and Neeraja who play their roles to the fullest in this short story.

It is impossible to summarise the story without giving out spoilers and besides, I do not think I have words for the emotional roller coaster that it put me through. However, the book deals with some serious issues that women of this age and time still face. They are serious issues that have been dealt in a sensitive manner. Also, hearing the story from Godavari’s point of view essentially helps a reader to get into the mind of a lady who has been victimized her whole life even when she was not at fault. It gives us a new perspective of how such a lady might see the world and herself. The book left me with so many questions that I wish so badly that it was longer. But after a few days of retrospection, I feel that the author has chosen the right way to end the story. More information wouldn’t necessarily bring closure and this way, we are left to give the story its own happy ending.

I listened to the audiobook version produced by Read Out loud and narrated by Shruti Kapdi. The narrator has done a splendid job of bringing each character to life with her voice. From Godavari’s modesty filled tone to Sreeja’s innocence to the American accent of Neeraja and Vanaja, each character has been distinctively portrayed in the audio version. 

Now go do what you have to do to get your hands on this book!

Review Copy from Read Out Loud

1 comment:

  1. Now this is something which needs to be read ASAP. Thanks for the review!