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Sunday, October 24, 2010

Review - Roopa Farooki's Half Life



The first thought that struck me was that Farooki's writing reflected her cultural or rather multi cultural roots.

Aruna Ahmed an academic a Singaporean of Bengali origin is living in London married to a dependable English doctor. In a very little while we see Aruna leaving her husband, just walking out on him and flying back to Singapore where she has unfinished business with the love of her life Jazz.

There are intricate family mysteries to unravel (almost unbelievable eventually), tragic family marriages to despair over, the absolute lack of communication in some Asian families where children are not admitted to family secrets and so they grow up bewildered and burdened throughout their life, Aruna's own illness of having being diagnosed as bipolar, her erratic use of medicines and constant use of drugs and liquor to bolster herself all add to the nuances of the story.

Aruna is our chief character and she is not likeable. But it is her story and we are left wanting to know how Aruna is coping, and how the story is going to end. It is a delicate and fragile story and Farooki's skill is in bringing together totally different pieces together into a perfect whole.

A very intriguing read.

11 comments:

heather yalin said...

looks like you are on a reading and book review roll! this one looks good too!

Book Bird Dog said...

I read this also and found it interesting. Did reveal a bit about cross cultural issues, too.

chelleyreads said...

never heard of this book before. sounds like there's lots of drama in this one--glad you liked :)

Heidi said...

You have a lovely blog, You won my giveaway and I emailed you today for your address, talk soon.

Linda Ellen said...

Sounds like an interesting book with a great blend of themes going on. Sounds great! =)

Laura @ I'm Booking It said...

That does sound intriguing!

I love the idea of the mixture of cultures, and then combining that with mental illness and family drama. In the right hands, that could be amazing.

Aths said...

I have this on my wishlist. I agree, most Asian families (at least the ones I know) have this huge communication gap between parents and children that is barely addressed.

Amused said...

This one sounds pretty good. I've read one of her books in the past and had a hard time with it. Maybe this one would be better.

jewelknits said...

This seems like a complex book. I'm currently reading The Sound of Water by an Indian author, and I definitely see the differences in writing style. I've had to adjust my brain to reading it! :) (not a bad thing, just different!)

Julie @ Knitting and Sundries

Mary Jo from TrustYourStyle said...

Your blog is fantastic! I am really enjoying reading the reviews! It makes me want to read every single one!

Thanks for stopping by my blog!

xo Mary Jo

S. Krishna said...

I totally agree Aruna wasn't likeable, but I was impressed by Farooki's ability to make the reader care about things turning out okay for her anyways! I really enjoyed this book, I'm glad you liked it too!