Sunday, July 20, 2008
Fasting, Feasting by Anita Desai (TerriLynn)
Fasting, Feasting is not something I normally would have chosen to read, which is the great thing about this project-- it encourages me to move beyond those stories to which I'd normally gravitate and expands my literary horizons.
Desai's novel, also a finalist for the Booker Prize, explores the lives of a taken-for-granted elder sister, Uma, and a much adored younger brother, Arun, who are both shaped and constrained by the demands of their parents-- in one case a demand not to experience life outside the home and in the other, the demand to be an over-achiever and leave not only home but homeland. The story is skillfully written, with evocative descriptions and even tragic bits of humour however if you're looking for some light, entertaining, summer reading this isn't it. This is more a book for a cold, dreary, January day when you're in an introspective mood and pondering how your family has-- for better or for worse-- helped direct the path your life has taken. I'll leave it to you to judge how Uma and Arun might weigh in on this discussion.