Wednesday, 10 February 2016

Review: The Unknown Errors of Our Lives by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni.

Book: The Unknown Errors of Our Lives

Author: Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni  (CBD)

Pages: 288

Read On: Hardback

How Long it Took Me To Read: 3 days

Plot Summary: In nine poignant stories spiked with humor and intelligence, Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni captures lives at crossroad moments–caught between past and present, home and abroad, tradition and fresh experience.

A widow in California, recently arrived from India, struggles to adapt to a world in which neighbors are strangers and her domestic skills are deemed superfluous in the award-winning “Mrs. Dutta Writes a Letter.” In “The Intelligence of Wild Things,” a woman from Sacramento visits her brother in Vermont to inform him that back in Calcutta their mother is dying. And in the title story, a painter looks to ancient myth and the example of her grandmother for help in navigating her first real crisis of faith.
Knowing, compassionate and expertly rendered, the stories in The Unknown Errors of Our Lives depict the eternal struggle to find a balance between the pull of home and the allure of change.

General Thoughts: This is my first re-read of the year. And this is something I want to do more of this year. Re-read some books I read ages ago and enjoyed or books I read but don't remember clearly. 

I read this book back in 2007 or 2008. And I really enjoyed it but I remembered only one of the stories super clearly. The first story, Mrs. Dutta Writes A Letter is the one story I remembered clearly and one that has stayed with me. So it was a good time to delve back into this short-story collection. 

Things I Liked: 

1. The writing was great, I always enjoy CBD's writing, her story-telling and style are things I've always enjoyed. 

2. The Bengalis in this book are so...relatable and remind me of so many people I've met and come across. CBD does a fantastic job of captruing the essence of the Bengali person. 

3. There are stories set in both India and in America and it's a nice mix of settings. 

4. The themes in this book are some of my favourite things to read about in general--- home, the idea home. marriage, love, family and where we belong. 

5. These stories are often abrupt and have no neat endings and that makes them seem more life-like and genuine. 

6. There are some tragic characters in these pages. people who've been dealt a bad hand in life and people who go on inspite of it go on and live with their quiet lives. 

7. I loved the feelings this book evoked in me, melancholy for sure but also an appreciation of life and how different lives can be. 

Rating: 4/5 

I highly recommend this book. I really enjoyed the reading experience of it and I think you'll like it too. 

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