Friday, March 16, 2007

Laura's Review - The Inheritance of Loss





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 ...

3 comments:

kookiejar said...

Interesting review. Sounds like you could relate to the main characters better than some of us (who have never lived abroad) ever could.

3M said...

I was in Egypt for 3 months one summer. It was an experience I'll never forget and will always treasure. I definitely came back changed.

Wendy said...

I just finished this one this afternoon...and will probably post my review in a day or two after I've had some time to think about what I want to write. I agree that having more knowlege of Indian culture and caste systems and political history would have helped me in getting the most out of this book. Desai's beautiful prose rescued the book for me! LOL!