Evening Is the Whole Day

Evening Is the Whole Day

A Novel

Book - 2008
Average Rating:
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Set in Malaysia, this spellbinding and already internationally acclaimed debut introduces us to the prosperous Rajasekharan family as its closely guarded secrets are slowly peeled away.

When Chellam, the family's rubber-plantation-bred servant girl, is dismissed for unnamed crimes, her banishment is the latest in a series of recent, precipitous losses that have shaken six-year-old Aasha's life. A few short weeks before, Aasha's grandmother Paati passed away under mysterious circumstances and her older sister, Uma, departed for Columbia University--leaving Aasha alone to cope with her mostly absent father, her bitter mother, and her imperturbable older brother.

Beginning with Aasha's grandfather's ascension from Indian coolie to illustrious resident of the Big House on Kingfisher Lane, and going on to tell the story of how Appa, the family's Oxford-educated patriarch, courted Amma, the humble girl next door, Evening Is the Whole Day moves gracefully backward and forward in time to answer the many questions that haunt the family: What was Chellam's unforgivable crime? Why was Uma so intent on leaving? How and why did Paati die? What did Aasha see? And, underscoring all of these mysteries: What ultimately became of Appa's once-grand dreams for his family and his country?
Sweeping in scope, sumptuously lyrical, and masterfully constructed, Evening Is the Whole Day offers an unflinching look at relationships between parents and children, brothers and sisters, the wealthy and the poor, a country and its citizens--and the ways in which each sometimes fails the other. Illuminating in heartbreaking detail one Indian immigrant family's secrets and lies while exposing the complex underbelly of Malaysia itself, Preeta Samarasan's debut is a mesmerizing and vital achievement sure to earn her a place alongside Arundhati Roy, Kiran Desai, and Zadie Smith.
Publisher: Boston, MA : Houghton Mifflin : 2008
ISBN: 9780618874477
Branch Call Number: FIC Sama
Characteristics: 340p

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v
vansce
Jul 17, 2013

I tried this once and gave up but I don't want to remove it 'cause I think I should try again sometime.

j
jquickmsw
Oct 06, 2011

Spellbinding? So says the publisher. This reader says Te-de-ious. If language were the only criterion, it'd get four stars from me, but it's hard to care about, let alone like, any of these characters, and I had no interest in finding out what their "closely guarded secrets" were. Life is short, the library is large Nancy Pearl); I returned it after trying hard to engage for 75 dense pages.

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