A spellbinding story of forbidden love. Three continents, three decades, three very disparate lives: Savitri, intuitive and charismatic, grows up among the servants of a pre-war English household in Madras. But the traditional customs of her Brahmin family clash against English upper-class prejudice, threatening her love for the privileged son of the house.
Nataraj, raised as the son of an idealistic doctor in rural South India, finds life in London heady, with girls and grass easily available... until he is summoned back home to face raw reality.
Saroj, her fire hidden by outward reserve, comes of age in Guyana, South America. When her strict, orthodox Hindu father goes one step too far, she finally rebels against him and even against her gentle, apparently docile Ma. But Ma harbors a deep secret, one that binds these three disparate lives and hurtles them toward a truth that could destroy their world.
©2000 Sharon Maas (P)2015 Tantor
"A vast canvas of memorable characters across a kaleidoscope of cultures.... Her epic story feels like an authentic reflection of a world full of sadness, joy and surprise." (The Observer)
Beautifully descriptive and a wonderful story, terrible narration though. I had to 'tune' myself out to the narrator and focus on the story which meant it took a little while for me to engage with it, but when I did I was hooked. I loved this book - a wonderful blend of romance, history and culture. I was drawn into the story, the characters and how their lives were eventually intertwined. I loved the descriptions, taking you to India, it's sights and smells, occasionally a little overdone but overall beautiful. I was able to engage with all the characters, even the less pleasant ones and wanted to keep listening to find out more about them. A joy.
I enjoy learning about foreign lands and cultures in my fiction, and this certainly did not disappoint in that regard. However, Maas's narrative style has far more "telling" than " showing". It dragged, with long sections of narration that begged for some action or dialogue. I stuck with it to the end, and there was a satisfying (if somewhat too tidy) twist and resolution.
The real problem was the reader. Her whispery, garbled speech was so awful, I almost returned the book after the first half hour of listening. She sounds like she has marbles in her mouth. I would recommend reading the book rather than listening to the audio book if you are interested in the story.
So brilliantly written. Reader terrific. Truly enjoyed!!! Complex story, intelligently written and taking place in different countries over a span of 100 years. Be warned, you won't stop listening and it requires concentration!!!
The narrator's voice is quite distinct and was always the first thing I noticed before the words. Her accents and gender voices were great and I always knew who was talking which was vital because this story had a lot of plot twists.
I loved it!
I loved the story but the narration was awful to the point of distraction. It was most unsuited for this story. Being a native Tamil speaker, it was v painful for me to hear the names and words mangled beyond recognition. It took away the pleasure of the story that much.
I really enjoyed the twists and turns of this book. The author needs a little more experience so the writing does not sometime read like a "B"movie. Lots of historical background I am going to enjoy researching.
Wow! That is pretty much the extent of my reaction to this piece. Fascinating and frustrating, love it and hate it. A feminist's absolute nightmare, and yet a cultural treasure. It's amazing how much there is to learn about the world, and how different people's beliefs and traditions vary from ethnic group to ethnic group and within those groups. Cultures within cultures without degrading them by calling them SUB-groups. I don't think people can even begin to understand the magnitude and absolute definition of the word "diversity". However, it is through cultural pieces such as this one, even when it is a historical fiction narrative, that I grow as an individual and a global citizen. Works like this one make me abhor the term "tolerance" ever so slightly more, as I view it as having a despicable definition. What we need is "understanding" and "acceptance" to begin to alleviate the world's cultural bigotry, not "tolerance". Let's replace that term with one like: "respect". That sounds more like a great beginning!
"Narration is terrible"
The story is no doubt great but I have only listened to one hour of the nineteen and I am having to give up due to the irritating robotic narration. The voice is peculiar and staccato in delivery style. Words are also pronounced in a peculiar way and this is also irritating. I am not sure if I can continue with the book on audible and may have to read it on kindle.
The book is fine but the narration makes me angry.
Be careful choosing the narrator and try out the voice on listeners before you commit to 19 hours with an irritating style of delivery.
"A beautiful story, brilliantly written."
I loved this book and admire Sharon Maas' ability to weave a gripping story. Highly recommended. I just found that Anne Flosnik's f's often sound like p's and that is a bit irritating - e.g. Chapter 55 sounds like "pipty pibe".
"I think I have already read it"
I think the author is very good, I am sure I have read this before but the narration was terrible. It was narrated in a very strange way, nothing wrong with the narrators voice but it sounded electronic like the narration on a kindle. I found it so irritating I couldn't proceed with it.
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