This is the debut novel by Megha Majumdar. It is a very good book that highlights many aspects of Indian culture that many Americans are most likely unaware of. I have many Indian American friends so I am familiar with their culture particularly since they have immigrated to the US. I don't think you can truly understand the deep division in socio economic situations and opportunities unless you travel there. This book definitely brings many of those issues to the forefront and they are a big factor in the interweaving stories in the book. The idea of wealth and those having a life you want is all very perspective based, many want wealth and power, whereas there are those in this story who just want a basic existence- to not be hungry and have somewhere safe to live.
There are deeper undertones in the book about what people are willing to sacrifice and do in order to reach their dreams. There are characters who are willing to turn their backs on others in order to get ahead, no matter the cost.
What is interesting is how there are many parallels with the US and how the media and politics are able to set a narrative that then has much of the public following along regardless of facts. The other takeaway for me from the novel is just how much better off the opportunities are in the US than in other parts of the world. There are those who suffer in this country and that needs to be addressed, but for the most part we are offered more opportunities and basic needs than in many of the third world nations. The ability to freely speak your opinions without being arrested is a true blessing our Constitution provides.
The reason I only gave this book 3 stars is the feeling of incompleteness I had when I finished the book. There were several story threads that did not feel completed to me. They were characters and storylines that supported the main thread but still left unanswered questions that I would have like to have seen resolved.
If you are looking to immerse yourself in another culture and read about the decisions people make shen faced with opportunities to improve their lot in life then this is a book you should read.
A Burning by Megha Majumdar
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
This book provided a thought provoking read about the differences in opportunities based upon socioeconomic as well as gender. The book is set in India but many of the deeper issues can be reflected upon within our lives here in the US. This book highlights how easily people can be swayed by public opinion, particularly by the narrative the media might take. It also shows how seemingly good people can be caught up in bad situations. The reason I did not give it more stars is I felt the story lacked a resolution for many of the characters. I finished with a sense of incompleteness, there were certain story threads that were just sort of dropped and hinted at, but no real resolution occurred. The book was a good read and demonstrated the fact we should appreciate what we have in life and be sure to provide kindness and assistance to those who need it= no matter how little we might have, there are others with less.
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The Challenge Prompts I will use this for are:
- Library Love #LibraryLoveChallenge Book #29
- Literary Escapes #LiteraryEscapes India
- Beat the Backlist #BTB2021 #25 book centered around politics
- 2021TBR #2021ReadingChallenge # 17 own voices
- Virtual Mount TBR #VirtualMountTBR2021 Book #37
- Back List Reader #Backlistreader Book #42
- PopSugar #popsugarreadingchallenge #34 A book about a social justice issue
- Around the Year in 52 Books #45. A book related to a codeword from the NATO Phonetic Alphabet
- 52 Book Club #the52bookclub2021 #10 Related To The Word "Fire"
- The Unofficial Magnus Archives Challenge #TMARC21 #33. Tim: with fire on the cover
- BooklistQueen # 15. Own Voices Story
- A Pretty Mess Challenge # 18. A book on a controversial topic
- Bookworm #8.) Read a book where the main character is a High School or College Student
- Magic in the Books Book 7 #2 Ugly Cover
- Pick your Poison #14-3 A book about oppression
- Monthly Motif #MonthlyMotifGXO set in India
- Backpacking Bookworm #bbReadingChallenge2021 celebrates diversity
- 52 books in 52 weeks #5 silence