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Wednesday 23 February 2011

Tuesday 22 February 2011

Teaser Tuesday- The Tapestry of Love by Rosy Thornton

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page

BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! Share the title & author, too, so that others can add the book to their TBR Lists!

My Teaser comes from the book 'The Tapestry of Love' by 'Rosy Thornton'. Page: 110.

'It was soon after nine when they arrived. Engrossed in watching the blurred rise and fall of the needle as she steered its endless progess towards her, she did not hear their foot steps outside, nor the opening of the outside door.'

Please leave a comment with the link to your own Teaser Tuesdays, so that I can check them too! Thanks

Monday 21 February 2011

Tiger Hills by Sarita Mandanna

Tiger Hills, the debut novel by Sarita Mandanna is an epic tragic love story that runs through generations. The story is set in Coorg in Southern India, beginning in the late 1800s through the war time years of the 20th century. Mandanna has given such vivid description of Coorg's luscious landscape, green jungles, rich cultural tradition and food that one can immediately be involved and submerged in the story and be completely entranced by it.
The main protagonist of the story, Devi is the first girl to be born to the Nachimandas in over sixty years. Beautiful, spirited Devi is the apple of every one's eyes in her entire family. She befriends Devanna, a gifted young boy whose mother died of tragic circumstances. The two quickly become inseparable, like two eggs in a nest / two seeds in a cardamom pods, as they grow up amidst the luscious jungles, rolling hills and rich coffee plantations of Coorg. Their future seem inevitably linked, but everything changes when one night Devi attends a tiger wedding, a function held to honor the brave tiger killer, Machu and celebrate his feat of killing a tiger.
Machu is a great hunter and is a cousin of Devanna. The moment Devi sees him, she has the desire to be his  wife one day. It was love at first sight for Devi and it is this love that will creat a rift between Devi and Devanna that will eventually widen. Meanwhile, Devanna's aptitude in the academic studies is noted by the head of the local mission school from Germany, Hermann Gundert. Gundert treats Devanna like a son and nurtures him for medical studies. He has high hopes from him, for he thinks Devanna will be the inspiration for the people of Coorg to embrace Christianity. But, one action by Devanna in a fit of grief shatters Gundert's hope and with it changes the lives of many concerned, sowing the seeds of a tradegy that will have consequences that will last for generations.
The novel is named after a coffee plantation estate 'Nari Malai'-Tiger Hills which is subsequently owned by Devi. The novel has many characters and if I were to simple write the plot of the story, it will run into a number of pages. The story is mostly about Devi and the two men in her life Devanna and Machu. There is proper masala for a love triangle and yet, strangely enough it is sustained till the end of the story. In the beginning of the novel, Devi was portrayed as a child of destiny for her birth was marked by a folk of herons, but eventually it pains the readers to see how her life is jeopardised and how she tries to strike a balance between love and hatred in her life. What I despised about Devi was her partial behavior towards Machu's son and her frequent indifference about her own son. I could not think of how a mother could act the way Devi did whatever the reason.
The story is about the sufferings that love brings, for they are the two sides of the same coin, the suffering that Devi at large endured, the suffering of Devanna, Machu and their sons and also of Gundert who had pinned great hopes on Devanna. Yet, finally comes the message that one has to learn to reconcile with their fate and find happiness in what they have received in life.
I love the way Mandanna has given words to the emotions of the characters in the novel. I loved it for the sheer vividness and details of the story. I will definitely recommend reading it.

Wednesday 16 February 2011

The Choice by Nicholas Sparks

'Without her, his life had little meaning. He was a small town husband with a small town occupation and his cares were no different from anyone else's. He'd neither been a leader nor a follower, nor had been someone who would be remembered long after he passed away. He was the most ordinary of men only with one exception. He'd has fallen in love with a woman named Gabby, his love deepening in the years they had been married. But fate had conspired to ruin all that, and now he spent long time of his days wondering whether it was humanly possible to fix things between them.'

'The Choice' by Nicholas Sparks presses its readers with the question -'How far would you go to keep the hope of love alive?' The story in the book dwells on how the choices we make, even the smallest and insignificant ones governs the course of our life. It is about love, faith and trust and the choices we can make in our life to show them.

The story is starts with Travis Parker visiting her beloved in a hospital and he has been doing so for several weeks now. He has a big choice to make in the days to come that will be the defining point of his life. He is torned between the voice of his heart and the promise he had made to his wife. What will he choose?
The story then flashes back to his past years when he had met Gabby.
Eleven years back Travis Parker was a single man content with the life he lived. He had great close friends, a faithful dog, a dream house and a decent job. He had dated a lot of women but none of those turned into a serious relationship. In fact, he had come to believe that a woman in his life will only disrupt his lifestyle for he loved adventurous sports and few women would share the same enthusiasm about such sports in their daily life.

It was when Gabby Holland moved in the house next door, things in Parker's life changed. Gabby had been indifferent to Parker's attempts to be friendly at first. She had a boyfriend for the past 3 years and was sort of content with it. In fact, she had moved to North Carolina to be nearer to him. It was when she suspected that her dog was pregnant and that she thought Parker's dog was responsible for it, she stormed into his house. Days that followed only brought them closer and finally both of them made the choice to be together for the rest of their life and that choice had governed their life, till this day.
Today, he was the one who had to make the choice. And he was in a dilemma. Sparks has intensely dwelled on Parker's feelings and thoughts and how he fights his own self to make a decision. But, for the fact that I had read Spark's The Notebook only a month back, I found the story lines to be strikingly similar and that lessened the beauty of the story for me. In both books, the story is set in the beautiful small coastline town of North Carolina. Heroes in both stories had a liking for small town life and the pleasures that it offered. In both stories the heroine had left their previous boyfriend for the hero and something bad happens to them in the end! That is a lot of similarities by any standard. I was only happy to see how the story in 'The Choice' ended and that made up a little for the disappointment I felt earlier.
It is an achingly moving love story. My only word of caution to others is - If you have read 'The NoteBook' recently keep a considerable gap of time to read 'The Choice' and vice versa.

Linking it to Nicholas Sparks reading challenge hosted by The Book Vixen

Tuesday 15 February 2011

Teasers Tuesday: The Lovers

This is the first time I am participating in this event. Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading.
Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

Grab your current read
Open to a random page
Share two "teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page

BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! Share the title & author, too, so that others can add the book to their TBR Lists!

My teaser comes from the book 'The Lovers' by John Connolly. It is thriller novel with a gripping story.

From Page: 119.

'She had not thought of him in so long. Her mother had left when she was a child, promosing to return for her, but she never came back, and in time word came that she died somewhere in Canada, and had been buried by her new boy friend's family.'

Friday 11 February 2011

The Curious Case of the Dog at the night time by Mark Haddon

I picked up this book - The Curious Case of the dog in the night time by Mark Haddon from the library because I was somewhat intrigued to see the cover page.

It thought it would be a funny and light book. But, somehow that's not exactly the case. This book will make you smile at some points but not exactly in a funny way and it will leave you pondering over it, long after you have read it!

The story is narrated by Christopher Boone, who has Asperger Syndrome, a highly functional type of autism. He lives with his father in Swindon, England. He is a big fan of Sherlock Holmes. That is why when his teacher Siobhan asks him to write a book about his daily musings, he decides to write a murder mystery novel. A book in which he decides to write about the investigations of Wellington's murder and everything else he want to talk about.

The story starts with Christopher discovering the dead body of Wellington, the dog of their neighbour, Mrs Shears. The dog has been killed with a garden fork and Christopher is appalled to see the dreadful condition in which the dog was lying in the garden. He decides to find out who murdered the dog and sets out to do investigation in his own way. In his quest to find the murderer and bring justice to the dog, Christopher comes across some startling secrets that his father had hidden from him. It changes his life for good.

Is that all the story about in the novel? Definitely not! There is lots more to the book than just the story and plot.

Haddon has very subtly given the picture of how the mind of an autistic child works. What problems the parents with such a child faces ? What are the issues that are vital to upbringing a child with special needs and lots more!

The character of Christopher itself looks so real. He is very sensitive to his surroundings. He is gifted when it comes to maths and physics but, he does not understand much about human feelings and emotions like most people inflicted with this syndrome. He looks at the world in a very logical way (that is why all the chapters in his novel as prime numbered) and he wants everything to follow a routine. He does not like uncertainty and the very thought of anything uncertain makes him feel dizzy and scared. He has his own little rules to determine if a day is going to be good, very good, super good or a black day.  All these little details about him makes the character so convincing. His takes on maths, physics and so many other topics will make you look at them in a new more logical way.

The story is not so much about resolving the murder mystery but how Christopher decides to solve it, how he processes his findings logically during his little investigation, how he tries to overcome his fears and talks to strangers and finally how he reacts when he finds out some startling revelations about his own family. Haddon has very nicely and neatly dwelled on the feelings of an autistic child, his special needs and his understandings of the worldly things. The book is written in a very simple English and in a kind of disconnected way. But the writing style works for the story and seems more apt as it is written from the perspective of an autistic child.

 A must read. No wonder it won the Whitbread Book Award in 2003 and CommonWealth Writer's Prize for best First Book in 2004.

Tuesday 1 February 2011

Twilight by Stephenie Meyer

At the beginning of the new year, I had made a list of books I wished to read this year and I am glad I am doing quite well in that. One of them was the Twilight Series by Stephenie Meyer.  I had seen the movie- Twilight I and had not quite enjoyed it so much. So, I never gave a thought about reading the book until my best friend wrote to me about her love for the Twilight Series. That is what intrigued me and I brought the first book in the series, Twilight from the library. I found it in the young adult section in the library but, I think this will appeal to a much wider audience. I am glad to have read it and hope to read the other books in the series soon.

It is a 'Human-Vampire' love story like no other.

The story starts with Bella (Isabella Swan) leaving her mom's house in the sunny Phoenix for her father's place in a gloomy and small place called Forks to complete the rest of her high school. Its gloomy in Forks because it always cloudy and rainy. For Bella, good bright weather is like a dream in Forks. On top of that she has to sink into a new school with a whole lot of new friends. But, gradually, she adjusts herself in the new surroundings and even makes new friends.

Bella is by nature shy, under confident yet curious and observant. She is very intrigued by the Cullens, Edward Cullen in particular. She finds the Cullens different from the rest of the students in school. Despite Edward cold and unpredictable behaviour towards her in the first few encounters, she feels deeply attracted towards him. The very look at him sends a chill through her spine! The adjectives used to describe Edward in the novel like 'inhumanly beautiful' with 'luscious skin', a husky voice makes him instantly addictive to the readers as well.

Later in the story Bella and Edward fall in love despite the fact that they are all together different beings. They seem to deny any logic and hope that their relationship will somehow work. The story takes an interesting turn when another Vampire falls for Bella's blood and Bella has to run for her life. After several twists and turns things fall into places, But how? That's the thing to read in the novel.

The whole story is said with the perspective of Bella. The readers knows just want Bella tells and thinks. So, as the story proceeds secrets about the Cullens are unravelled one by one and that builds up the suspense in the novel as one keep thinking what more is in store. The story will keep you hooked till the end. The first half of the novel is relaxed, with vivid details about the places and characters. The second half is where all the action happens. The language used in the book is very simple and easy to understand. Meyer has depicted the feelings of teenage love very well.

If you are still intimidated about a human-vampire love story, I recommend you read this book. 
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