by Ameen Merchant
It was difficult for me to believe that this book was written by a man. Not that I am trying to be sexist or anything, it is just that the way the characters are built up and the way they act, given the fact that the two main characters are women, it was very intuitive. It was a wonderful read, even more so for a first book.
It is a moving tale of two sisters growing up in an ultra- orthodox Tamilian Brahmin family in an agraharam. The elder sister is made to give up school and take up household responsibilities when their mother dies in a road accident. The trials that follow, unpleasant truths being exposed, the various relationships that are built and destroyed and the music which is part of the destiny of one of the sisters. The book also has the proper Tamilian flavour, with all the Tamil words that are liberally sprinkled in conversations. Some of the conversations took me back to my music class days with a maami.
The only thing that kind detracted from the book for me was the ending. It lacked something. All in all, it was a good read. It kept my attention all through and I could empathize with the characters.