I like travel memoirs and though this is not a travel memoir as such, it was much more than that. The writer spent months spread over a number of years in parts of Rajasthan and Himachal Pradesh as an English teacher volunteer. Her writings about her experiences in two very different locations added much interest to the work of teaching.
Rajasthan is desert country. Parched, dry and a hard life. Himachal Pradesh is picture perfect - mountains and valleys, green and fresh. The physical contrast alone was a very good story because the author paints a beautiful picture of both.
Her experience in dealing with simple, straight forward villagers who liked the idea of their children learning English but she also accepted the practices of the villagers and never tried to influence them to change their ways, despite her own personal ideas on the subjects. Very young marriages of girls at the age of 15 are common in the Rajasthan area, despite being illegal. Children are expected to help out on farms, with cultivation, with livestock. The family is of paramount importance, not the individual. The differences are many and all are very well articulated in this book.
Very vividly described both geography and people, this was a very entertaining read.
Sent to me by Netgalley for an unbiased review, courtesy of Troubadour Publishing Limited.