Monday, April 30, 2012
Blog Tour Review: The Folded Earth by Anuradha Roy
Date: February 2011; April 24, 2012 (US)
Source: Free Press Blog Tours
Read: for review (disclaimer: I received my copy of this book from the publisher in return for an honest review.)
Reading time: one week
From GoodReads: Roy has returned with another masterpiece that is already earning international prize attention, an evocative and deeply moving tale of a young woman making a new life for herself amid the foothills of the Himalaya. Desperate to leave a private tragedy behind, Maya abandons herself to the rhythms of the little village, where people coexist peacefully with nature. But all is not as it seems, and she soon learns that no refuge is remote enough to keep out the modern world. When power-hungry politicians threaten her beloved mountain community, Maya finds herself caught between the life she left behind and the new home she is determined to protect. Elegiac, witty, and profound by turns, and with a tender love story at its core, The Folded Earth brims with the same genius and love of language that made An Atlas of Impossible Longing an international success and confirms Anuradha Roy as a major new literary talent.
My review: The first 100 or so pages of this started out as strong as An Atlas of Impossible Longing, which I absolutely loved reading last year. I remember now why I love Anuradha Roy's writing so much - it comes off as enchanting and magical, and she says everything so eloquently and with occasional large words. I love how she interworks details from Indian history, archaeology, and culture with the main point of the story. But, unfortunately, I did not think that this book was anywhere near as fantastic as Roy's previous novel. The plot was very slow-paced, and if not for Roy's great writing, I would probably have been bored enough to struggle finishing the book. The storyline meandered, never truly reaching what was expected from reading the book's blurbs. I didn't feel like the story and characters were as well-developed as they could have been, and the overall plot seemed to be missing some cohesive element. I think, on the last page, I finally grasped some of the points Roy was trying to make with the novel. The Folded Earth is worth a read - Roy's writing is still wonderful and there are some interesting points to the book - but if you're choosing between it and An Atlas of Impossible Longing, go with the latter!