Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Book Review: The Unknown Errors of Our Lives


I just completed this Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni's book, thoroughly enjoyed reading this collection of stories of Indian immigrants who have migrated to the US and the adjustments that their lives undergo- be it connecting with their familial roots back home or making accomodations to the life here or bridging the generational differences that transit beyond seas. Every story resonates with a moving pulse on how human emotions thrive in individuals, families that have a cultural connection embedded in them.

The book has 9 stories and each story is unique in its own way. While every story portrays the dynamics between a parent and child or between siblings or in-laws, each one is poignant with a sense of reality that leaves behind a mark in our hearts.

Most of the Indian families that Chitra refers to hail from North India, especially West Bengal, but, the stories are very applicable to any woman or man from India living abroad. Without giving away the contents, each story has a direct message that ties into the title, the unknown mistakes that we make in our lives. There is a tale of an Indian woman settled in the US who is forced to make amendments with her estranged father when he wants to see his grandchild in his older days. Another story that rings with reality is that of a widowed mother who comes to US to live with her son and daughter-in-law only to discover that her ways are considered old-fashioned, embarassment to her daughter-in-law. A story about an Indian girl who visits India and goes on a pilgrimage tour, only to discover herself and the purpose of her life. There is also a tale about a lesbian woman who meets someone from India in this country and how their relationship blossoms into one of comfort. A story with the book's title is also written to express how a young woman paints about Indian mythology and the comforts that she draws from those paintings to deal with an unexpected twist about her fiance are all woven beautifully into this collection.

While I did not enjoy reading Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni's "Mistress of Spices", this book, more than made up for it. A good read that knocks some lessons into our heads and makes us think about the unknown errors that we ourselves may have done in our lives.

13 comments:

anudivya said...

It is a nice book, read it long back. I enjoyed her other book "The palace of illusions" more.

Reviewer said...

I haven't read this book...will check it out for sure :-)

Cham said...

Ur review tempts me to read this book! I will keep in mind when I visit the libary!
Happy Ayyuda Pooja!

Krishnan said...

Mitr: Never read any one of her novels. Currently reading rather old Anita Nair's Ladies Coupe. Have you read it ? Hope kolu, Ayudha Pooja went off well.

Jayashree said...

Divakaruni is one of the authors I like. Am yet to read this one and Palace of Illusions.

Sachita(india) said...

A nice write up.
As you already know, I do plan to pick it up on my next visit to library. but the mistress of spices experience keeps putting me off.:)

Uma said...

this books sounds interesting! Can we get this book in the local library?

Lakshmi said...

I have not read this book... sounds like i need it

DEESHA said...

i still havent read it .. looks like a good read

anudivya said...

I have tagged you for Meme :)

TBC said...

I'm gonna be on the lookout for this one at my library. I have more than half a dozen books that I've to get through first.:-)

AJEYA RAO said...

I am gonna buy this book sometime soon. Your description sounds interesting.

SASA said...

nice review mitr! makes me want to read!