For fans of J. Courtney Sullivan, Meg Wolitzer, Mona Simpson, and Jhumpa Lahiri comes a winning, irreverent debut novel about a family wrestling with its future and its past.
With depth, heart, and agility, debut novelist Mira Jacob takes us on a deftly plotted journey that ranges from 1970s India to suburban 1980s New Mexico to Seattle during the dot.com boom. The Sleepwalker's Guide to Dancing is an epic, irreverent testimony to the bonds of love, the pull of hope, and the power of making peace with life's uncertainties.
Celebrated brain surgeon Thomas Eapen has been sitting on his porch, talking to dead relatives. At least that is the story his wife, Kamala, prone to exaggeration, tells their daughter, Amina, a photographer living in Seattle.
Reluctantly, Amina returns home and finds a situation that is far more complicated than her mother let on, with roots in a trip the family, including Amina's rebellious brother Akhil, took to India 20 years earlier. Confronted by Thomas's unwillingness to explain himself, strange looks from the hospital staff, and a series of puzzling items buried in her mother's garden, Amina soon realizes that the only way she can help her father is by coming to terms with her family's painful past. In doing so, she must reckon with the ghosts that haunt all of the Eapens.
©2014 Mira Jacob (P)2014 Random House Audio
I read a review after reading this book that said that the author pulls the reader into every nuance of Amina's life. The depth of character in this book is alarming and wonderful.
The story was amazing and I think I loved it more with the author reading. Her different voices for each character became easily recognizable. I am sad it is over.
I'm the creative manager for the Audible social team, and therefore is allowed to be on Facebook at work.
This is the first time I've listened to a full-length fiction title. I listen to tons of podcasts, and I've listened to autobiographies and Freakonomics-style nonfiction, but never a novel. h/t to Laura Hogensen for the rec, and she was right - the author does an excellent job with the voices, and I found myself taking the long way home just so I could listen for a few extra blocks. If you've ever wondered if audiobooks are for you, this should be your gateway listen!
Moving, Funny, Interesting.
Kamala.She is funny, loving and sounds so genuine.
Unfortunately no. But I'll be on the look out for her next one for sure!
Kamala, because her passion is cooking and so is mine. that would make for an interesting conversation.
I loved this book so much and the audio version really enhanced the story. Narrated by the author, the accents and inflections added so much to this sweet, touching story. It made my long commute short and I was so sad when it was over.
The Namesake - because it provided a glimpse into the similarities and differences of daily life in Indian families
The author's narration was excellent. Loved her acting and accents
Her ability to act all of her characters.
Made me laugh in places cry in others.
The book's characters and their story portray the many shades of love.
I don't look anything like that figurine, just love the fact that she's holding a book like that.
I purchased this book because they compared the writer to Jhumpa Lahiri - my favorite writer. Besides the fact that they both explore the lives of Indians in America torn between two worlds, and the intricacies of a family - the similarities end there. Although Thomas' story was touching, I didn’t find myself thinking about it once I'd finished the book. And although Akhil's story seemingly came out of left field, I suspect many of us expected it. We can be amused by the "time travel" aspect as we get to hear the thoughts of the character's in their time and we know what eventually happens (garbage bags with handles, phones you can use in your car). But I often found myself wondering how old Amina was at times - like Im 30, and have had my share of "auntys" but none of them are going to twist my ear in reprimand...I'm 30 not 10!
This is book is long - very long and endlessly meandering, by the end of the book, you would have juggled as many as 7 storylines. Feels like the author couldn’t make up her mind as to which of her character's wants to cater to, so we got a little of everything. This is clear even with the title of the book. They may have compared Mira Jacob's familial exploration to that of Jhumpa Lahiri, but Lahiri's silences scream. Jacob is not quite there yet, but I think she's well on her way. She can tell a story, and that is what makes this book worth the listen.
I homeschool my kids and live out in the country hence I have a lot of time to drive and listen to audio books. I love Audible!
The characters, the story itself, everything was well crafted, detailed, nuanced, and both poignant and funny. Just a delightful book.
Mira's performance was just perfect. Every character had a voice, but it didn't feel forced. I understood why she, as the author, would want to read it just exactly as it should sound. Only she would really know. And her performance was wonderful.
Loved it! My only regret is that she hasn't written or read anything else yet!
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