Clear Light of Day

“Clear Light of Day” by Anita Desai (India)

Review

Interestingly, there was a clear divide between readers whose first language is English and those for whom it is a foreign language. The native English speakers loved the book, whereas the non-native speakers did not enjoy it overall. This was largely due to the style of writing, choice of words and sentence structure (long complex sentences).

The readers who enjoyed it loved the setting and the historical context. They loved the descriptions of place which were brought vibrantly alive through the use of metaphors. They liked the character descriptions and the portrayal of sibling relationships which they found very realistic. They liked the contrasts that the author weaves into the story: New Delhi / Old Delhi, those who left / those who stayed behind, past / present, sickness / health, life / death. Overall, they found it beautifully written and well-crafted. The book averaged an 8.1 out of 10.

Synopsis

To the family living in the shabby, dusty house in Delhi, Tara’s visit brings a sharp reminder of life outside tradition. For Bim coping endlessly with their problems, there is a renewal of the old jealousies for, unlike her sister, she has failed to escape… Read more

Nicola’s Book Club reading lists

Season 6 – “World Classics (the past is masculine)” (Sep 2007 – Jan 2008)

“A Confederacy of Dunces” by John Kennedy Toole (U.S.)
“Love in the Time of Cholera” by Gabriel Garcia Marquez (Colombia)
“The Woman in the Dunes” by Kobo Abe (Japan)
“Things Fall Apart” by Chinua Achebe (Nigeria)
“The Master and Margarita” by Mikhail Bulgakov (Russia) *

Season 7 – “Future World Classics (the future is feminine)” (Feb – Jun 2008)

“How Many Miles to Babylon?” by Jennifer Johnston (Ireland)
“Second-Class Citizen” by Buchi Emecheta (Nigeria)
“Eva Luna” by Isabel Allende (Chile)
“Clear Light of Day” by Anita Desai (India)
“The Handmaid’s Tale” by Margaret Atwood (Canada) *

* The book club favourite
In italics, Nicola’s Coup de Cœur

 

“A classic is a book that has never finished saying what it has to say.” – Italo Calvino

 

The past is masculine;
The future is feminine;
And the present is a
blending together of both.
– Nicola

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