The House of Blue Mangoes

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9780060936785: The House of Blue Mangoes

Like Vikram Seth¿s A SUITABLE BOY, THE HOUSE OF BLUE MANGOES tells many stories in one, each slipping effortlessly into the other and all ultimately entwined. Three generations of an ancient family come and go in Chevathar, the village by the sea. First there is Solomon, the patriarch, manoeuvring to keep the peace as caste struggles begin to encroach on the village. Then there is the story of Solomon¿s sons, their fortunes rising and falling as India begins its struggle for independence. Finally, there is the story of Solomon¿s grandson, perhaps the last of the line, making his own stand for independence. A host of characters enliven these pages: Father Ashcroft, the English priest washed up in a forgotten corner of the empire; Mrs Wilkins the planter¿s wife who clings to the old ascendancy; Joshua, the prodigal son who leads the battle on the beach; Daniel and Aaron, brothers at war; and Helen, an Anglo-Indian beauty who brings about the final disintegration of the family.

This is a glorious, generous, and exhilarating read.

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Product Description:

Three generations of an ancient family come and go in Chevathar, the village by the sea. First there is Solomon, the patriarch, manoevuring to keep the peace as caste struggles begin to encroach on the village. Then there is the story of Solomon's sons, their fortunes rising and falling as India begins its struggle for independence. Finally, there is the story of Solomon's grandson, making his own stand for independence. A host of characters enliven these pages - from Father Ashcroft, the English priest washed up in a forgotten corner of the empire, to Mrs Wilkins the planter's wife who clings to the old ascendancy, and to Helen, an Anglo- Indian beauty who brings about the final disintegration of the family.

Review:

To the reader prepared to enter the intoxicating and all-encompassing world of David Davidar's The House of Blue Mangoes, a memorable experience is in store for some books require a certain application on the part of the reader before they reveal their secrets. And (like so many hard-won things in life) the subsequent rewards are infinitely more gratifying than the "quick-fix" novel that throws its thin appeal in your face. In a similar fashion to Vikram Seth's A Suitable Boy, Davidar's ambitious Indian-set novel relates many stories in one, each ineluctably merging into the other. We are shown three generations of an old family in the village of Chevathar by the ocean. The patriarchal Solomon struggles to maintain equilibrium as caste struggles begin to create harsh conflict in the village. And we are told the story of Solomon's sons, their triumphs and disasters as India inaugurates its struggle for independence. There is the story of Solomon's grandson who may be the last of the line, undertaking his own bid for independence. All of these are drawn with a mercurial vividness, but Davidar has a Tolstoyan sense of the larger canvas: among an army of other characters, we are given Father Ashcroft, an English priest cast up in an unregarded fragment of the empire, and the beguiling Anglo-Indian Helen, who will play a key role in the rush-to-destruction of the family. Davidar's epic covers the spectrum: heroes and rogues, clans and dynasties, the ugly and the beautiful.

The narrative, alternately measured and hectic, enfolds assassinations and passionate affairs, exorcisms and beggars' banquets--all are incorporated into a rich weave. Davidar's models are often stories from India's great epics, but (along with the tracking of tigers) the fascination of the everyday is never overlooked, from making a perfect cup of tea to whipping up a flavoursome biryani. Behind the struggles of the protagonists, we are shown the various strategies Mahatma Gandhi and Winston Churchill used in their battles, and we see how the English memsahibs played their part in the downfall of the Raj. The mangoes of India, a key image in the novel, suggest the heady, ripe taste of this baggy, engrossing and thoroughly individual novel.--Barry Forshaw

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Book Description HarperCollins Publishers Inc, United States, 2016. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Perennial ed.. 198 x 132 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. In 1899, in the south Indian village of Chevathar, Solomon Dorai is contemplating the imminent destruction of his world and everything he holds dear. As the thalaivar, or headman, of Chevathar, he seeks to preserve the village from both catastrophe and change, and the decisions he makes will mark his family for generations to come. A gripping family chronicle, The House of Blue Mangoes spans nearly half a century and three generations of the Dorai family as they search for their place in a rapidly changing society. The novel brings vividly to life a small corner of India, while offering a stark indictment of colonialism and reflecting with great poignancy on the inexorable social transformations of the subcontinent. Bookseller Inventory # FLT9780060936785

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Book Description HarperCollins Publishers Inc, United States, 2016. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Perennial ed.. 198 x 132 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. In 1899, in the south Indian village of Chevathar, Solomon Dorai is contemplating the imminent destruction of his world and everything he holds dear. As the thalaivar, or headman, of Chevathar, he seeks to preserve the village from both catastrophe and change, and the decisions he makes will mark his family for generations to come. A gripping family chronicle, The House of Blue Mangoes spans nearly half a century and three generations of the Dorai family as they search for their place in a rapidly changing society. The novel brings vividly to life a small corner of India, while offering a stark indictment of colonialism and reflecting with great poignancy on the inexorable social transformations of the subcontinent. Bookseller Inventory # FLT9780060936785

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