To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Someone Else's Garden , please sign up. Be the first to ask a question about Someone Else's Garden. Lists with This Book. This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Sep 01, Erin rated it liked it Shelves: Lata Bai loves the sound of a cycle's bell. She loves the rain. She hates having another baby. Author Dipika Rai takes readers into a small village in rural India concentrating on women-mothers and daughters of the rural poor.
It is a compelling story that illustrates the hardships women endure from their fathers and husbands. View all 6 comments. May 20, Ellen Shifrin rated it really liked it. This interesting book was challenging to get into, but once there I found the story pulled me along. It's about 2 generations of both women and men, upper and lower castes, village and city life. The radical change in Mamta, the heroine, is wonderful to read, and her growing strength and understanding are inspiring.
I found the story of the wedding in Chapter 3, where we see from the perspective of the bride who never looks up, especially vibrant: They are ado This interesting book was challenging to get into, but once there I found the story pulled me along.
Someone Else's Garden has ratings and 68 reviews. Erin said: stars People are defined by what they love and what they hate. Lata Bai loves the so. Standing out among works by Shobhan Bantwal, Chitra Divakaruni, and other emerging Indian writers, Rai's Someone Else's Garden offers a rare look at life in .
They are adorned with large decorative shiny brass buckles. The sandals are followed by oversized sturdy black leather shoes, with an air hole for the big toe to breathe. Manta can see her father's blue rubber Hawaii slippers walk up to the brown sandals. The buckles flash decisively in the fading light.
The buckled sandals make her nervous. She can see her father's feet fidget, just like a new bride, she thinks, and almost giggles. The drawback for me was that I could predict what was going to happen, and I was disappointed when my predictions came true. Nonetheless, it's a good read, and brings us deep into the brutal world of misogyny and the possibility of change. Oct 02, Ellen rated it it was ok. The lecturing seemed endless and I kept wanting to say "I get it! How could a woman go from being uneducated, a slave to her husband, an outcast in her village and family to being someone who helped at a medical clinic, married a man from an upper caste and responsible for helping to found a village of refuge for other women from similar situations?
It just didn't work for me with so little attention to characters and plot. On the other hand, if you want to know that conditions in India are still pretty appalling for the lower castes and for women especially, then you should read this. I thought at first how great it was that these books are being written but then I noticed that the author divides her time between the island of Bali, where she lives, and India and that she has a husband, two children and "devoted" pets.
So then I thought how sad it was that she didn't also sponsor a medical clinic or orphanage or school for girls as well. Someone Else's Garden , being released today, is Mamta's story, but it is also the story of million other village girls, who are married off with a heavy dowry to some man, any man who will have her, even if he is an octogenarian. It is the story of mothers, who are impregnated at an alarming regularity in the hopes that many sons will fill the homes.
For each son's birth that is celebrated as an immensely festive occasion, there are many other girls disappearing into the night - either as anothe Someone Else's Garden , being released today, is Mamta's story, but it is also the story of million other village girls, who are married off with a heavy dowry to some man, any man who will have her, even if he is an octogenarian. For each son's birth that is celebrated as an immensely festive occasion, there are many other girls disappearing into the night - either as another statistic on the infant mortality graphs, or as one more exhibit in the red-light districts, or as a victim to some unnamed disease.
This book is also the story of these forgotten girls and their yearnings for life and love. Mamta is the eldest of seven children born to her mother, Lata Bai. Her younger sister has already been married off, and at twenty, Mamta is considered old. Her father routinely complains that he doesn't want to bother with feeding any of his daughters because why water someone else' gardens? That is precisely how he and much of the backward society views women, as someone else's eventual possessions.
With her head submerged in dreams, Mamta is married to a man, who brought about his first wife's death, and now beats Mamta quite often and blames her for his downfall. When he commits a very cruel act on her, she escapes to the city. Along with Mamta, we also follow another villager, Lokend, who only wants to do good to others and see good in even the most hardcore dacoits. His brother has his eye on their father's property and assuages his hurt at not being loved enough by verbally taunting his paralyzed father. At some point, everyone's destinies cross, but before we reach there, there is plenty of pain, torture, cruelty, and tears.
Dipika Rai writes in a beautiful artistic style that vividly brings the whole village to life. I could almost taste the food, smell the hay, see the lush greens, and feel the pouring rains. There is a whole array of characters, and the author takes her time through them - revealing their petty characteristics and giving us an insight into their natures. The descriptive narration however turned out to be too meandering to me.
I love it when authors share something about every character in a book - not too much that it becomes a character study, not too less that every one seems a stranger. I appreciated those character-revelations here, but I felt most of the sketch too long that I kept slipping off the main thread of the story. The pacing of the first half of the book is real slow. It took me a while to get to know the characters well enough to want to revisit them.
A while as in more than a third of the book. The last pages however whiz by. It could be because I got used to the characters enough to be able to read faster. The book starts strongly, with vibrant descriptions and well-sketched characters, but it ends poorly in my opinion. A lot of books fall into the trap of fixing every single broken artifact or cleanly solving every mystery.
I feel this book could have been shorter, by avoiding a drawn-out ending. The contents of the book however are very powerful - there is so much gasp-inducing stuff in here, almost all of it to deal with the cruelty against the women gender. Lata Bai's husband is irritated when she delivers yet another baby girl.
He doesn't even notice that she has delivered.
He considers his daughters "someone else's gardens" Oh, the disgusting images this phrase conjured up in my mind! Wives and daughters are regularly beaten. If a daughter is old enough and has still not received any marriage offers, the father plans to sell her to a brothel. A married woman who runs away, if ever caught, is abused and raped publicly. Worse than that - the other women approve of this "punishment". Dipika Rai doesn't mince any word as she chalks out this story - there is a lot of graphic descriptions of mundane stuff - stuff we overlook or never bother to describe.
I felt grossed out a lot. In the same vein, I could have done with a little less repetition of such parts. I appreciate that none of the harsh matter is glossed over, but too much of it only grosses the reader out. The narration is punctuated many times with several philosophies and spiritual beliefs, either expressed as the thoughts or words of a character, or as a standalone thought supporting the context.
I'm not big into either, so there were sections I skimmed past, but that's just me. I initially thought that this book will be hard to follow by someone not familiar with Indian phrases or customs. But after I turned the last page, I noticed that there is a glossary section.
I didn't have any trouble reading this book, but potential readers may want to refer to the glossary. Overall, I thought this book was well-written and with a very realistic plot, but the latter half slackened considerably, as the focus fell more in connecting the dots than letting them connect on their own. Oct 26, Erica added it. I didn't know if I would like this book.
It seemed depressing the title refers to a father calling his daughter "someone else's garden" because she will eventually be married and not wanting to feed her and not in the way i usually enjoy. But I got very wrapped up in the story of the family at the center of this book, and I did feel like I learned something about life in a small indian village. Jan 14, Baljit rated it really liked it. The story of a woman in rural India with caste and traditions clinging to her, has she to simply accept her role as a woman or to strike out against oppression and still strife for acceptance in her community?
The story unfolds slowly and iniiitially the dynamics of the characters in The Big House are not apparent Am taken up with this part: Life tolerates no excuses,it only recognises finality, an exact computation. And in her life of The story of a woman in rural India with caste and traditions clinging to her, has she to simply accept her role as a woman or to strike out against oppression and still strife for acceptance in her community? And in her life of fixed paths she has dreamed up many final reckonings.
But reality is not an intuition, it isnt a thought or even a fruition of the past, it is a wilful creature aimless in its wondering. Acceptance is the only defence, the only sanctuary left to her Mar 16, Cynthia rated it it was amazing Shelves: I loved this book and cried a few times while reading it. I read it on the heels of a thousand splendid suns so i was already in the genre of bad, abusive marriage and exploited women This one was more lyrical and enjoyable to read.
Though i knew very little about the men who were the abusive husbands, i understood them better in their cultural context here The husband in hosseini's book was also a product of his culture, but as a reader i just disliked him as a person and judged him as a I loved this book and cried a few times while reading it. The husband in hosseini's book was also a product of his culture, but as a reader i just disliked him as a person and judged him as a person more. I also really appreciated the philosophical elements in the character of lokend.
Lati Bai is on her 7th pregnancy and will this time give her baby to her youngest daughter, Sneha. Lati Bai had her first child at the tender age of 15 and has become accustomed to her body, how it works, and how long it will take to birth e Lati Bai is on her 7th pregnancy and will this time give her baby to her youngest daughter, Sneha. Lati Bai had her first child at the tender age of 15 and has become accustomed to her body, how it works, and how long it will take to birth each baby.
Mamta is more excited about her upcoming wedding but helps her mother don her oldest sari, the one she can cut into rags: This patch of ground is where she found her beautiful golden bangle bracelet. She pulls gently and out pops a beautiful black-haired baby girl! Lati Bai can see her city from the distance, the City of Gopalpur, India and thinks about the swirling winds churling up around her and how each family must re-build or re-patch their homes each time a storm blows their way.
The villagers pack dung and reeds together to patch holes and cracks. The most permanent material the villagers have is wood but they save that for the ploughs. Lati Bai has been walking for a long time now, the shame of birthing a female has propelled her in the wrong direction.
She realizes a severe storm is coming and must get home before it starts. She turns, lowers her head, faces into the wind and begins to plod toward Gopalpur. She reaches home but does not see her family: She lifts the flap and enters, disappointed to find that her daughters are not home. Her husband, Seeta Ram, is demanding dinner and she busies herself making daal and chapattis. Shunned and unloved by her father she is hoping her upcoming marriage will bring positive change to her life.
Her mother, Lati Bai has always loved her and says the best day of her married life was when she became pregnant with Mamta. Lati Bai tells Mamta that the first few months of married life are the best and to enjoy them. She told her to lay a good foundation with her husband and for her children, to work hard, even harder than she does at home. Once married Mamta starts her new life as a wife with hope, but that hope is soon ripped away from her as she is forced to leave her village and the terrible nightmare of her arranged marriage.
In her new city Mamta struggles to find a state of acceptance and to make peace with her past but will this come without hardship? This was a truly powerful and engaging story! Jan 14, Melanie Coombes rated it really liked it Shelves: Someone Else's Garden is the story of Mamta, the eldest daughter of seven children. The setting is rural India in a small village that is governed by the rules and customs of the townspeople. Her father, a cruel, self involved man, arranges her marriage and considers all daughters burdens. After her husband turns abusive, Mamta realizes she must flee to the city in order to save herself and have a life worth living.
Returning back to her home is not an option since Mamta now belongs to her husba Someone Else's Garden is the story of Mamta, the eldest daughter of seven children. Returning back to her home is not an option since Mamta now belongs to her husband, no matter how cruel he is.
A runaway wife is one of the most shameful acts a daughter can do to her self and family. Yet Mamta is so desperate she feels there is no other option. What follows is her story of finding hope, friends, love and forgiveness. When I finished this story I had to wipe away tears.
What a great book. It started off slow, lots of characters were introduced and it was hard to remember who was who. There was not a lot of action. Those of my only critiques. But by the middle of the book, I was attached to the characters and anxious to continue reading about Mamta. I was also expecting this book to be mostly about Mamta, but there is also several other characters that have huge parts in this story. The writing was beautiful and I loved the descriptions of India. There is cruelty and bleakness in this book, but this should not deter one from reading this story.
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