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Leela's Book

by Alice Albinia

The author interprets an ancient Hindu myth (Ganesh) as a modern Indian family saga. Leela returns reluctantly to her native Delhi after years of exile in New York to attend a wedding where she and her family will face serious unresolved issues from her past. The sounds and sights of modern Delhi are brilliantly conveyed and the characters are well drawn and interesting. A great atmospheric read by an award-winning writer.

Extract

'Can you go instead? I'd like you to meet him'
'Who?' she asked, still disbelieving.
'Professor Ved Vyasa Chaturvedi. We should get to know him, now that he's going to be family.'
And so the sickening feeling came back to her that, once again, Vyasa was dictating the course of her life. The mere thought of Vyasa - of everything he had done - filled her with rage. But she said nothing further to Hari; and although she still felt angry, sitting on the plane with the paper folded in her hands - while she wanted to scream that she had been doubly betrayed, to weep that she would not set foot in her motherland however much he begged her - she knew, too, that the reason she had agreed to come back had nothing to do with her husband and everything to do with Meera. Once, long ago, she had made a promise, and she could not leave India a second time until that promise had been honoured.

Parallels

The Good Muslim by Tahmima Anam
 

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