The toss of a lemon

Posted by Divya at Sunday, March 07, 2010

I am in my slow-impatient-reader mode currently.  And hence the lack of new reviews.

It so happens that you raise your expectations with certain books and they disappoint you downright! It kind of stalls your reading-spirit and you take a while to recoup. 

It has happened to me with "Toss of a lemon". So this novel is set in south India; a difference from usual Indian author books, which are mostly concentrated in Bombay and above. The last book set in south-india which started off well and lost it half way through was "house of blue mangoes" by David Dravidar. Although, in that book I liked most of the parts.

Toss of the lemon had a greater appeal for it seemed to concentrate on the caste system from the angle of the brahmin family. Hailing from one, I was almost certain I will love the book! The story wound around three generations, customs, change of outlook, education giving way to broad-mindedness was all great on paper, but dragged in execution. I have no idea what mindset I should have had while reading this book to like it. Even though all the traditions, festivals and little nuances described were so familiar to me, the author had managed to create a lull throughout the book; a dark shroud over every character, nothing happy about any incident; almost painting a picture that being on top of the caste system means doom to your future generations. The story could have been told in a much gay manner. Although the events weren't catastrophic or sad, the author had managed to confer just the gloomy side of it. 

Most of the chapters moved  unmemorably from one generation to next. It seemed like she had confused  depicting boldness and rebellion spirit with sadness in her writing. By the end of the book, I was pretty vexed; I will not recommend the book if you are looking for a exciting read. The author has a lot of talent with writing. But channelizing it to tell a interesting tale is a whole different thing! Lets see. May be five years from now, I might give it a second read and might end up liking it! I usually don't give up on books. But this one I am surprised I managed to complete!

Verdict: Read the book if you are interested in being cognizant about south indian brahmin culture.Otherwise brace yourself for a long uneventful silent ride.


Anonymous said...

Very hones review :)


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