Tuesday, July 10, 2007
Book Review: The Hindi-Bindi Club
I decided to read this book based on a recommendation by Nalini Singh. See her post for her thoughts on the book.
The Hindi-Bindi Club
by Monica Pradhan
This book follows the lives of three thirty something first generation Indian- American women and their immigrant mothers. The book is broken into chapters, each told by a different woman's perspective. It traces their struggles and their truiphments. It actually covers the events between Christmas and the following early spring. Each woman is trying to find her way and trying to manage adult mother-daughter interaction.
What Worked for Me
Well, this one made me cry on more than one occasion. I mean really cry. It also made me laugh and while I am not Indian, the themes and family dynamics are really very germain to all mothers and daughters. Maybe with a slightly different flavor, but the heart of the matter is the same.
The book also includes some great Indian recipies and food and cooking are a central theme to this story.
I love the way this book makes you really face the tough issues, in a gentle and loving way.
What did not work for me
I had a hard time starting this novel. The way each woman tells the story takes a bit to get used to. It is important to note, that Pradhan does not have each woman describe the same scene from a different viewpoint, but they actually each more or less, take up where the other left off. Sometimes on the same road, but more likely taking a slightly different path. At first I did not get that and the story seemed a bit choppy. Once I got with the program, the book was a fast read and I like the way she crafted the narrative. Imaginative and unique.
While I liked the history and the Indian/Hindu perspectives, at times I felt it took away from the story. I felt a bit bogged down. I did learn a good bit and think I might check out some of her reference material, but at times, I am not sure all the info was all that helpful to the story.
This is a great read and well worth the time. I really loved Kiran and was so very happy, seing her grow. Even though this is a story of 6 Indian women, it very well could be the story of 6 Italian women. Change the food and some of the history and bam, you could have the Lasagna Club. (You get the idea.) The themes and struggles discussed here are not culturally isolated.
Plus I cried. I am not a huge crier. This one made me cry a good bit. In fact I had to stop reading at one point and then go back later.
Plus I got some great recipes out of the deal too!