Monday, June 11, 2012

#BookReview: Tell A Thousand Lies - Rasana Atreya

In 1986 India, four of the most important determinants of a woman's future were the tone of her skin, her caste, her home village and her family's wealth.  Based on these things, Pullamma, at the age of 16,  has resigned herself to living with her grandmother forever.  As one of three orphaned sisters, Pullamma is the darkest and most unattractive.

 With her oldest granddaughter married off, Ammamma begins to worry about the fate of Pullamma.  While it should be easy enough to marry off Lata, Pullamma's beautiful, light skin twin, it won't be easy to find a match for Pullamma.  The only hitch in Ammamma's plan is Lata has no desire to get married.  In a time and village that placed little emphasis on girls beyond the 12th class, and actually frowned upon girls doing well in school, Lata not only passes the 12th class, but does so with distinction.  A smart girl, she dreams of becoming a doctor, but as Ammamma asks, "With such good marks, how am I to find her a suitable groom..."  Pullamma, on the other hand, only dreams of getting married.

Just as Lata is about to wed into a family that respects her dreams and will allow her to continue her studies to become a doctor, a local politician intervenes and changes the fate of both Lata and Pullamma.  Suddenly, Pullamma has the life Lata always wanted and the beautiful Lata becomes a shrewd and bitter woman out for revenge at any cost, even if it means destroying her twin.

I can't remember how this book came across my radar.  I think it was recommended by Amazon based on other books I've read, but I can't be sure.  Regardless of how I stumbled across it, I'm glad I did.  Tell A Thousand Lies is a brilliant effort from Rasana Atreya.  As she tells the story of Pullamma and her family, she also gives glimpses into the Telugu community and Hindu beliefs ad practices

I loved this book because Atreya kept me on my toes while reading it.  At no point did I ever really know how the story was going to end.  And a sure sign that a book has pulled me in, I found myself talking out loud to the characters, knowing good and well they couldn't hear me.  If you love learning about new cultures and love a good story, do yourself a favor and give Tell A Thousand Lies a read.






352pp
Published: March 2012

 

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