The idea of this blog is to facilitate the love of reading by collecting news about new books, or sometimes good old books. It is also dedicated to stamping out the scourge of e-books, Kindles, Kobo's, i-Pads, and all other such abominations.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Can you Hear the Nightbird Call? by Anita Rau Badami

Can You Hear the Nightbird Call? tells the story of three women born in India, two of whom come to Canada. The novel covers the period of time from the Partition of India and Pakistan in 1947 to the explosion of Air India in 1985 . Bibi-ji, a beautiful young woman, steals her sister's finace and returns with him to Vancouver where through initiative, ambition and enterprise, she builds a financially secure future and with her husband becomes a pillar of the Vancouver Sikh community. Her sorrow is her inability to have children. She suffers from guilt of cheating her sister and is troubled when she looses contact with her. When Bibi-ji returns to India, she makes arrangements to adopt the oldest son of Nimmo. Nimmo, orphaned in the aftermath of the partition of India and Pakistan, lives a marginal life in Delhi. Married with three children, she agrees to allow her son to go to Canada with Bibi-Ji where he can be educated. The third woman, Leela, comes to Canada reluctantly. She enjoyed the security of her husband's family in India and felt no desire for a new world. For her life in Canada is a half and half life.
Each of these women endures horrific hardships and shattering experiences, many the result of the violent history of India and Pakistan and the clashes between Hindus and Sikhs. Badami is a wonderful writer and her insights allow us to better understand the burdens that immigrants may carry which are not of their own making.
This is a terrific book not only to read but to share with young people. It belongs in the libraries of all high schools.


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