Tuesday, April 30, 2013
Fiction: The Hope Factory by Lavanya Sankaran
Date: April 23, 2013
Read: for review (disclaimer: I received my copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.)
Reading time: six days
From GoodReads: Anand is a Bangalore success story: successful, well married, rich. At least, that’s how he appears. But if his little factory is to grow, he needs land and money, and, in the New India, neither of these is easy to find. Kamala, Anand’s family’s maid, lives perilously close to the edge of disaster. She and her clever teenage son have almost nothing, and their small hopes for self-betterment depend on the contentment of Anand’s wife: a woman to whom whims come easily. But Kamala’s son keeps bad company, and Anand’s marriage is in trouble. The murky world where crime and land and politics meet is a dangerous place for a good man, particularly one on whom the well-being of so many depends.
My review: I don't really have much to say about this. It was a decent read; there's not really anything that I didn't like. There's just nothing that really distinguishes The Hope Factory from similar books, besides the inclusion of servant Kamala's story. A lot of the themes of family values, urban life, the conflict between the traditional and the new, and combating corruption have recurred throughout several of the Anglo-Indian books I've read lately, like Oleander Girl and Family Matters. The writing style didn't stand out to me, and I never became very invested in the characters' personalities and stories. The construction of the plot was solid and interesting, I enjoyed reading the novel, but it's probably not one that will stand out in my memory.