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Janika Oza

Autor/a de A History of Burning

1 obres 163 Membres 3 Ressenyes

Obres de Janika Oza

A History of Burning (2023) 163 exemplars


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In India, in 1898, Pirbhai is the 13 year old bread winner for his family. He is tricked into working for the British, labouring on The East Indian Railway. Looking for work , he signs a piece of paper that he cannot read, and uses his thumbprint for a signature. His children go on to do well enough in Uganda. Vinod, his son, marries Rajna, an arranged marriage. Their three daughters, Latika, Mayuri and Kiya , come of age as Idi Amin begins his brutal dictatorship.

I found the part about Idi Amin's Uganda to be most fascinating. I had never read much about his brutal reign, and the eventual expulsion of South Asians. Each of the daughters lead interesting lives. Latika is determined and bold, and works as a journalist. Mayuri wishes to become a physician , and moves from Uganda to Bombay to study. Kiya hopes to become a teacher. From there, most of the family is forced to flee to Toronto , following a traumatic event. In Toronto , they struggle as a family and as immigrants.

This story grabbed me from the start. It's an epic generational saga, covering family, racism, activism, colonialism, immigration and secrets kept and revealed. It is intimately told from the many points of view of the characters. A quote from the book that resonates throughout the story : "What was love but one long act of forgiveness, of choosing to return, over and over again."

A deeply moving story, beautifully written.

Highly recommended.
… (més)
vancouverdeb | Hi ha 2 ressenyes més | Dec 15, 2023 |
Beginning in 1898 with a young boy, Pirbhai, being tricked into traveling from India to Africa to help build the East African Railway, this sweeping saga traces the story of four generations told in snapshots through the years. This family is representative of Asians settling in Uganda during British Colonial Rule and, following the country’s independence and ascendence of Idi Amin, their expulsion in 1972 and worldwide resettlement.

I wasn’t sure about this book. It did take me a few chapters to settle in, but once I did, I couldn’t put it down; I was totally captivated by it. Beautifully written, I learned a lot of history of which I was only vaguely aware. There is so much here, but it is not overwhelming. Well written, there is warmth, love, benevolence, brutality, resilience.

Whenever I read books that tell stories like this one, I am left aghast about how helpless the world is when confronting dictators, the inhumanity of mankind in how it often treats others and how unwilling some are to assist refugees. This book will stay in my head for a while.

This is an incredible work from a debut author.

Thanks to #netgalley and #Grandcentralpublishing for the ARC.
… (més)
vkmarco | Hi ha 2 ressenyes més | Apr 6, 2023 |
I received an advance copy of this book. Thank You

I found this book very good and was very impressed that it was a debut novel. Congratulations!

I knew nothing about slave trade from India to East Africa, about the large communities of Indians in East Africa, nor the racism and discrimination various groups faced. Sadly, even among the downtrodden, there was a pecking order.

The book spans 100 years and starts when Pirbhai, the eldest son of a poor family in India, is tricked into going to Africa. He basically agrees to be enslaved. The story follows his journey, and his determination to persevere so that he can help support his family. As times and situations change, Pirbhai makes adjustments and comes to have a family. The story continues with the family and the challenges they face.

While reading this book, you come to understand the importance of traditions, family, and heritage. You see how struggles and resentments form, leading to the upheaval that allowed Adi Amin to rise to power decades later.

This book was ambitious and comprehensive. Since we were following the family, I did feel at times that I didn't get to know some members as well as others, and I wished more attention had been given to them. Pirbhai and his journey, and decades later Vinod's journey, Pirbhai's great or great, great grandson, were much more detailed than the family members in between. I felt I lost the thread and connection to the family in the middle of the book. but then again, the book would have been much longer than the almost 400 pages.

Very good read.
… (més)
cjyap1 | Hi ha 2 ressenyes més | Feb 25, 2023 |




½ 4.3

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