I'm trying to keep my business, my triplets, and my waistline under control. I excel at one of those, fail at another one of those, and one is a work in progress. Which is which is day dependant.

Saturday, November 1, 2008


Hello Everyone and welcome to the first post for NaBloPoMo - National Blog Posting Month! I signed up to take part in this event, which means I need to blog every day for the thirty days of November. Since my September and October blogging was pretty dismal, this is my chance to redeem myself. I also means I can amuse my Mom for an entire month, which is sure to get me some brownie points. I'm hoping this month to broaden my blogging horizons, with a couple of book reviews, food reviews and as usual rants about my fabulous-but-crazy clientele and fabulous-but-crazy children.

First up a review of a book I read this month (pic 'borrowed' from Amazon):

The Age of Shiva - Manil Suri

Lately I've been trying to get away from the endless tomes of chick lit that I seem to be drawn to. Picking this book off of the library shelf was an attempt at broadening my reading horizons - and while I'm not sorry for doing it, it wasn't perhaps one of my better choices.

The book follows the life of Meera, an Indian woman who lives through the war with Pakistan and the various poltical upheavals of the time. The story follows her from young adulthood, through to her marriage with the alcoholic Dev, to the birth of her son and her son's eventual young adulthood. Books about India and India's history often capture my attention because they tend to have such beautiful narrative - in a culture as rich as India's it's hard not to find what to describe. While there are some parts of this novel which are truly beautiful to read, it suffers from an excrutiatingly slow pace and a main character who you want to reach into the book and smack.

Ostensibly Meera is a strong, independant woman - from the beginning she 'engineers' her marriage to Dev, is clearly quite intelligent, and has dreams and aspirations. It doesn't take long, though, before everything goes awry - Dev isn't the man she had hoped, her brother in law has designs on her, and her life seems to be plagued by poor decisions and a complete lack of strength of character. She just...submits, and somehow keeps hoping that things will improve. She is a victim of the males in her life - from her father to her husband to her son, and while she recognises that, it never seems to affect her in any profound way. The story only really held my interest because I kept hoping in vain that something might actually happen - but I got to the end realising that there was actually very little in the way of storyline. The whole novel felt a bit flat - the charachters never really jump off the page, the descriptions of places and events are fairly bland, and in the end you just sort of feel a bit let down. From the female perspective, I found myself thinking that Meera was more annoying than she was endearing.

Reading various on-line reviews about this author's first book (The Death of Vishnu) makes me wonder if he didn't suffer a bit from second book blues. Given the exemplary reviews of his first book, I'm going to see if I can't find it and review that one as well. Here's hoping!

End result is - Age of Shiva: Entirely forgettable.

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