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on July 25, 2010 :
“Twice born are people who have realized God,” elucidates Sita’s father to the confused little girl, at the start of Leela Soma’s brilliant and evocative novel. At that time Sita likely did not appreciate that she would have to ‘realize God’ not in her hometown, Madras, but in Glasgow Scotland, where she has to live following an arranged marriage with her husband, Ram. Although, Sita’s astrologer had drawn a neat square and, after placing all the major planets and other stars on the corners and in between, pronounced her entwine-able with a partner, we have to wait for the surprising conclusion, whether her breech birth would play a role in turning her life upside down.
Soma’s articulate writing brings Sita and Ram’s experiences vividly before our eyes. We virtually live, alongside them, in their trials and tribulations of Glasgow life. Their stresses are not only from the local residents but also from their own Indian community. Furthermore, the Scottish political changes are woven into their transformations that add authenticity to the plot.
A highly recommended novel, especially for those wishing to learn more about the sufferings, experiences and conflicts of Indian immigrants in adapting in a new land. The narrative is very realistic, especially since the author is a long time resident of Scotland. While this is Leela’s debut, the novel parallels those by other notable prize winning Indian authors with similar theme and settings in the UK and the United States. I am looking forward to reading more novels by this exciting novelist and am confident that it is in her stars that we will see her work soon on the celluloid screen.
Reviewed by: Waheed Rabbani, author of, “Doctor Margaret’s Sea Chest.” Available on Smashwords.
(reviewed the day of purchase)