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review 2016-08-05 03:51
Tell a Thousand Lies - Rasana Atreya
Tell a Thousand Lies - Rasana Atreya

For this month's Indies Unlimited Reading Challenge, I'm reading a book from another culture than my own. I've chosen a book that I have been meaning to get around to reading for several years: Tell a Thousand Lies by Rasana Atreya.

The book is set in rural India, where a grandmother has taken on the task of raising three sisters: Malli, the eldest; and fraternal twins Lata and Pullamma. In this traditional village, the most a girl can hope for is a good marriage, and these girls have no dowry. But it's worse for Pullamma, as her skin is darker than the other girls', and she grows up hearing -- and internalizing the message -- that her future is hopeless. But then, a local strongman sees a political angle. He pays the village soothsayer to claim that Pullamma is a goddess reborn, and suddenly the girl is the center of a lot of unwanted attention. Eventually, she escapes -- but the corrupt politician still has his hooks in Pullamma and her family, and her life will be ruined many times over before she has an opportunity to triumph.

Atreya champions the rights of Indian women in this book. Pullamma's twin sister Lata wants nothing more than to get an education and become a doctor -- which her traditional grandmother considers to be madness. And too, the whole book is quite a send-up of the idea that women should only aspire to make a good match, and then be obedient wives -- nothing more than that.

My only quibble is that the plot gets quite melodramatic -- very much like a soap opera, with one horrible thing after another happening to Pullamma, her husband, and Lata. I've only seen one or two Bollywood movies, but the plot here is very much like one of those.

If you like Bollywood flicks, I'd highly recommend Tell a Thousand Lies.

Source: www.rursdayreads.com/2016/08/tell-thousand-lies-rasana-atreya.html
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text 2013-11-10 15:05
up in giveaway section
Tell a Thousand Lies - Rasana Atreya

So this book is currently being offered in the giveaway section.  The author had sent me a copy to review a while ago.  I found it to be a very good book.  It is well worth entering the giveaway.

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review 2012-05-21 00:00
Tell A Thousand Lies
Tell a Thousand Lies - Rasana Atreya I had not yet come across a book of really high standards from a naive author. I congratulate Rasana to have come up with a story so touching, yet imaginative plot.

The story of the book rests in rural India where a girl child is said to be burdensome. Things become even harder when the family has no steady income, and no male to support them. Adversity brightens when they become a toy of orthotics, superstitions and, filthy politics. While the dark sky has tinkling stars, the family has the true supporter in their dark times.

The book is well classified into small, quick-read chapters. The language is simple. Although names, and few sentences are in Tamil (i guess!), still reader doesn't find any lacunae in the story. If asked, I would like to classify my review as -- Story - 3.5/5, Linguistics - 4.5/5, Reader's gripping - 4/5.

Looking forward to more work from Rasana Atreya.
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review 2012-04-11 00:00
Tell a Thousand Lies - Rasana Atreya The author gave me a copy in exchange for a review.People like to think that both racism and sexism are dead, but many of us know that this isn't true. While it might be correct to say that Mrs Bennett in modern England might not be as husband hungry for her daughters, she wouldn't turn up her nose at what's on offer either. In some places, the -isms are more underground, more subtle (Friends takes place in all white NYC, the black man always dies first, and the female scientist is dressed in heels with a mini-skirt. BTW, where did she get that matching vibrator?). Yet, in other parts of the world, even those we see as developed, it is more direct. Last week, for example, there was a mix-up at a maternially ward in India. A couple were first told that they had a boy, and then were later told that, in fact, they had a girl. Even when a blood test ruled them out as parents of the boy, the couple refused the girl and demanded a DNA test because who wants a daughter.I found myself thinking of that story several times as I read this book. Pullamanna is the middle child of three girls, all raised by their grandmother who is Mrs Bennett mad to get them good husbands. A difficult prospect considering the family's lack of money, but at least a possibility for two of the girls, the two who are light skinned and beautiful. It's a bit more tricky for Pullamanna who is dark, too dark. Too make things worse, Pullamanna's twin Lata wants an education, and well all know education isn't for girls, even girls who are too dark, because the only bad husband is no husband.What's a grandmother to do?Then, to make matters worse, Pullamanna becomes a goddess. Maybe.What then follows in this Pride and Prejudice/ "Cinderella" story is Pullamanna's attempt to find herself and her place in the world. This quest is hard because of the -isms that surrond her, that sometimes she succumbs to as she battles against them, and because of the powerful politician who takes an interest in her family. Atreya looks at culture and how it effects family and oneself. Her characters aren't flat and while the story may take place in a culture of isms, the writer has a large cast of characters that ran the gamut. It isn't a heavy hand moralistic story either, though in some ways it reminds me of a Bollywood movie (and I mean this in a good way).I debated over whether to give this excellent first novel three or four stars. While Pullamanna and her family are well drawn and believable, I found myself wanting a bit more detail in terms of character growth and the change in relationships. It isn't that the changes do not work, they do, they just a bit more showing and less telling. Once the ground seems to shift too suddenly. Yet despite this somewhat minor flaw, I found myself engrossed in the story. In fact, I was so engrossed that I read snatches when the bus I was on stopped at lights. I know it doesn't sound like much, but I get sick when I read if a bus or car is moving. I can't even look at maps when a car is going. Yet, I kept my Kindle out and read this book during light pauses. That's worth a four star rating.I fully intend to read the other books Rasana Atreya is sure too write.
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