waiting for monsson.jpgFor me, summer reading has a particularly sweeter taste.  There’s something decadent about curling up with a good book on a lollagazing summer afternoon, with the hot sun blazing in the distance.  In a hammock, or curled up inside, it’s all good.

I’ve been reading Waiting for the Monsoon, by Threes Anna.  It’s not a book that captured my attention (or heart) immediately.  In fact, for the first half, it kind of felt like work.  It’s a huge book, and after a certain point, I told myself I might as well slug through it now that I’ve gotten so far.
Often, there’s no pay-off for that sort of dedication.  But this was different. Anna’s book started to grab at my heartstrings (you know, that maddening love when you realise you’re truly falling for the characters) almost two thirds in.
Waiting for the Monsoon tells the story of Charlotte Bridgewater, the Indian-born daughter of a British general.  The Bridgewaters stay on after India’s independence, in a dilapidated mansion that is merely a phantom of its former glory.  Through various time-shifting vignettes, we learn of Charlotte’s childhood during the height of the British Raj, her father’s nightmarish war experience in Burma, her failed marriage to handsome, tormented doctor, and finally, her growing love and devotion for an impoverished tailor, Madan, who finds his way into her previously forlorn life.
Sleepy, dusty and hot, I felt feel Charlotte’s frustrations with her life.  As the story deepens and intensifies, I got caught up in the characters’ inner lives and their relationships with each other and their bleak setting.  The way Anna weaves Charlotte’s life with that of Madan’s shows true brilliance.
  • Katya

    Great review!
    I read “Waiting for The Monsoon” in April and I share some of your comments too. It also took me a while to get into it, but once I did it was a wonderful book. Couldn’t you just see the vibrant colours of India and the fabrics she described? And the crazy heat? Loved the chemistry between the two main characters and even her old dad grew on me at the end.
    I hope more people discover this book!

  • Tracey

    I DID!! I posted about it after I read it last summer… Steinbeck used to make me kinda nuts (I understand why now) but “East of Eden” was just wonderful. I was thinking of reading it again right now, while I’m in Steinbeck-crush-mode. Wonderful and delicious. Really, I think I need to restock my shelves with a bunch of his classics – I loved “Cannery Row” very hard, as I did of “Mice and Men” but there are two or three I haven’t read yet.
    Oh, if I could have a month to myself, with room service and NO ONE talking to me anywhere, I would read everything. EVERYTHING, I tell you!!

  • Amreen

    The Grapes of Wrath is one hot, dusty piece of brilliance! Steinbeck makes for awesome summer reading. Have you read East of Eden?

  • Tracey

    Sounds like a good one, Amreen! *le sighs* I do so love curling up with a good read during the summer months especially… I just finished re-reading Steinbeck’s “The Grapes of Wrath” about a week ago, and I’m still savouring it, so I haven’t picked up another one yet. So many books on the shelf… so little time, it seems… :)

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