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The Sunday Salon #23: What the Body Remembers

The Sunday Salon.com

I am very slow with completing books during this LAST year of law school while I am in the midst of wedding planning and daydreaming about making my life in a new state and figuring out how to find and create my dream job, so I thought that it would be fun to have a progress report of my reading. This is an online reading group where all the participants set aside time to read every Sunday and blog about the experience.

This morning, I think that I put down all the people I could possibly want to invite to the wedding and realized that I need to do a lot of cutting.  It is very exhausting and headache inducing.  Fortunately, I had a good book waiting to take me away from all that stress.  I read a bit of What the Body Remembers by Shauna Singh Baldwin.  A few years ago for my birthday, my cousin gave me this book.  She said, "I never read books, but this one kept my attention the whole time."  I took this as a big recommendation.  I kept putting off reading the book and then finally took it off the shelf and into my hands.  I can tell that I am going to enjoy the book even though I have only read about thirty pages.  Here is a brief summary of the book from the publisher's website:

The year is 1937, and Roop, a sixteen-year-old Sikh girl from a small village in Northwestern India, has just been married to Sardarji, a wealthy man in his forties. She is a second wife, married without a dowry in the hope that she will bear children, because Sardarji’s first wife, Satya, a proud, beautiful, combative woman whom he deeply loves, is childless. The wedding has been conducted in haste, and kept secret from Satya until after the fact. Angered and insulted, she does little to disguise her hatred of Roop, and secretly plans to be rid of her after she has served her purpose and given Sardarji a son.

The main two families in the book are Sikh and since I was raised in a Sikh household and still considered myself a cultural Sikh, I am enjoying getting the history of the religion and history about the merging and separation of the Sikh and Hindu cultural customs in India.   While the book is VERY long, I appreciate that there are many chapter breaks which makes the book easy to put down and pick up again.  Since there is at least one wedding that will take place in the book, I am also hoping to learn more about the significance of some of the wedding rituals that I will be participating in during my own wedding.   So far, the story has been told from the perspective of two women and both have made me sympathetic to their plight. I think this bodes well for the author's writing style.

I am reading this book for two challenges:

Chunkster Challenge

Orbis Teeravm Challenge 


Posted on Sunday, September 7, 2008 at 2:36PM by Registered Commenter[beastmomma] | Comments8 Comments

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Reader Comments (8)

Sounds like a wonderful, enriching read :-)
September 7, 2008 | Unregistered Commentermarie
This sounds right up my alley.I'll check back for your review.
September 7, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterkaren harrington
Marie & Karen: I hope that it continues to be a wonderful read!
September 7, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterbeastmomma
The first book that I read about Sikh's was a recommendation as well. Although in my case it came from an eleven year old I was teaching, who brought me a copy of Peter Dickinson's book 'The Devil's Children' and asked me to read it as it would help me to understand her and her family better. She was right. It's the third part of a fantasy series for children, but Dickinson is an excellent writer and it was very good indeed.
September 8, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAnn (Table Talk)
That book sounds great. How long is it exactly?
September 8, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterApril
Ann: Thank you for the recommendation. The only other book I can remember reading about Sikhs (which was in English and/or not religious text) is called Partap is a Sikh which is basically a book to educate people about Sikhism.

April: The book is 496 pages in paperback.
September 8, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterbeastmomma
Sounds like a book I might like! <i> The Gone-Away World </i> should get to you soon, if it hasn't already.

As a recently married person, I know the stress of making the guest list...try dividing it up into tiers by level of importance, then do all the A people before looking at the B list. It helped me and my hubby.
Thanks for the suggestion Rebecca. i am slowly making my way through the guest list.
September 14, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterbeastmomma

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