But his memory is one that permeates the household he has left behind, with his son, Vikram, carrying on a legacy of domestic abuse and violent reprisals, all neatly contained within the home. The Dharmas appear to be a tightly knit, if reclusive, family, and as one of two Indian immigrant families in the town, they are pretty much left to themselves, with any strangeness presumably being chalked up to their cultural differences.
Their differences add to an oppressive atmosphere where the women who come into the family end up trapped because, even if they ever want to try, there appears to be no way to seek help — not that they would. The novel begins with a death — or rather, the discovery of one. This book is a brilliant, tragic take on the horrors of domestic abuse, with its cycle of violence and remorse, made worse by the pressures of the immigrant life to maintain a balance between old-world values and Western culture. But the story also puts the spotlight on the worst effect of the abuse, which is the willingness of the victim to take responsibility for the crime.
Like this: Like Loading Post to Cancel. She arrived from the bustling warmth of India full of the promise of her new life - a new home, a new country and a daughter from Vikram's first marriage. But her husband's suspicious, controlling and angry tirades become almost a daily ritual, resigning Suman to a desolate future entangled in a marriage of fear and despair. Suman is isolated both by the landscape and the culture, and her fortunes begin to change only when Anu arrives.
A friendship begins to form between the two women as Anu becomes a frequent visitor to the house. While the children, Varsha and Hemant, are at school, Anu, Vikram's mother, Akka, and Suman spend time sharing tea and stories. But Anu's arrival will change the balance of the Dharma household. Young Varsha, deeply affected by her mother's death and desperate to keep her new family together, becomes increasingly suspicious of Anu's relationship with her stepmother.
Varsha's singular attention to keeping her family together, and the secrets that emerge as Anu and Suman become friends, create cracks in the Dharma family that can only spell certain disaster. Told fr Fans of Canadian fiction should read the writing of Anita Rau Badami. Her writing is infused and influenced by her South Asian upbringing and heritage. This gripping domestic drama is told from a variety of perspectives.
Book Review: Tell It to the Trees by Anita Rau Badami
Brutalized by her new husband and subtly terrorized by her young step-daughter, Suman is totally alone. If you are a fan of Indo-Can If you are a fan of Indo-Canadia This book is a compelling and fast read. Although it centres around a mysterious death, there are many deeper issues afoot that the reader begins to clue into early on in the story.
Told through the voices of four main characters, it soon becomes clear that nothing and no one can be taken at face value. Secrets abound feeding dangerous obsessions and deadly delusions. Read this book for enlightenment and for fodder for discussion — it would be an excellent book club choice.
It tells of the Indo- Candian Dharma family who carry on their life under the shadows of abuse. As the wife Suman says, "All of us are carrying tales to him about each other, falling over ourselves to be in his good books. I as childish as my stepdaughter.
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Will be a great addition to any reader's library or to a book club. The group as a whole felt it was very well written and it will help start the conversation on the topic of inter-generational abuse.
Manipulation is a nasty talent that some people possess. Often, we don't realize that someone manipulates us until it's too late.
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Varsha, a teenager, is a master of manipulation. As much as I enjoyed the story, I was fascinated to see how she was using her horrible skills, and how it was only Anu who recognized what the girl was doing to her brother and the rest of the family.
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She used every known moral and family value to control the whole family except for her equally horrible father. Good read. It disturbed too much to finish so I do not know if the author gave it a 'good' ending. No matter what, young people treated in such ways could never completely heal.
Not a long story told from varying points of view - have to read a bit to figure out who is talking. Sad story of abuse and bullying leading to deaths and murder on a multigenerational level.
While family abuse is certainly a topical subject, readers looking for some insight into either its causes, dynamics or solutions will be disappointed. The abusers punch and kick and frighten while the victims cower and cover-up—over and over, from multiple points of view. Readers looking for a story will find it difficult to identify with, let alone fall in love with any of the characters.
The potential hero, the tenant Anu who might have blown the whistle on the whole dysfunctional family, is dead before the first chapter starts—hardly a recipe for suspense.
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