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March 3, 2017

Tapestry of Tears

Short Stories From India
by Gita Reddy

     A Tapestry of Tears
This is a collection of a novelette and twelve short stories. The title story, A Tapestry of Tears, is set in the nineteenth century. A young couple from an affluent background fights against the time honored tradition of female infanticide. In another story, Division into Two, a family is torn apart by the brutal partition of British-ruled India into India and Pakistan. Told through the voices of an estranged aunt and nephew, it reveals the human tragedy that is often a fallout of social strife.

The other stories also deal with social issues and family relationships.

A Muslim woman suffers when the mujahedeen drive out the Hindu midwife. A grieving husband resents the presence of his new daughter-in-law. Deafness has nothing to do with communication in a marriage, or does it?
Then there is the husband who drives his wife crazy with his obsessive cleaning, the man who loves playing mind games at his wife's expense, and a family that struggles with the decision to move the aged mother into a home.

The book is likely to appeal to readers of women's fiction, historical fiction, and also to readers interested in knowing about other cultures.

"It was here she realized why women the world over indulged themselves with needlework. For it was an indulgence, a soothing of the senses,a gentling of thoughts.  They spoke, not in a rush, and not even to each other but their words were like a gentle brook, and took with them their hurts and worries. No man could understand the sisterhood of a sewing circle, she thought, listening to them."

"There was no reason for his behavior except that he felt very vulnerable and insecure, as if his home was a fragile nest built high above the ground and a single gust of wind would scatter it away. He wished he could gather his wife and children close to him and keep them safe forever."

" You knew, didn't you, what would happen to me without you? You cared only about me. You knew that I was like a two- year- old who would get lost. You feared I was crazy enough to walk off a cliff. You knew, and you prepared Aarti, and you were happy that she would take care of me, and of Ankit. That is why you look content. That is why you smile. Let me say the words that always made you happy. Nalini, you were right, again."

Gita V. ReddyGita V.Reddy is a writer of fiction for children and adults. She enjoys thinking up tales of different genres. She has written women's fiction, historical fiction, mysteries, adventure, fantasy, science fiction, and even an animal tale for children. Ms Reddy was born in India, is a post graduate in Mathematics, worked in a bank for twenty-six years, is married to a physics professor, has a son doing research in neuro-electronics, and loves literature. Yes, her life is as mixed up as the multiple genres she writes. She enjoys trying her hand at new things and spending time with her family, and LOVES walking in the rain. Visit her website: LINK

The author usually writes children's books but all her books have aspects of Indian culture. 
This book has 112 short stories that you can read a story or two and put down for a while, if you like.  The story is fictional but based on the Indian culture.  The setting is early 19th century.
It always amazes me how so many think that boys, especially babies are far more important that little girls.  Some mothers of baby girls have to give the little one sap from the aak plant so she will die.  This is so sad. It plays into what is still somewhat a tradition, that women are 2nd, following behind men. 
The two main characters in the story Kuldeep and Veeran had a little girl, but didn't believe in the tradition of killing the girl babies.  But their first child was a little girl.  Since Veeran was not going to keep tradition her mother-in-law did.  This put Veeran in a dark hole.  Depression couldn't describe it.  
The story tells how she went on to survive and try to change tradition.
Another story I liked from the collection was the love story.  This story was truly a story of love, not romance but loving or caring for someone else more than you do for yourself.  Many of us should stop and think about "love".  We should think about how it applies to our relationships, not how we feel, but about others we care for. Do we truly "love" them? One of the other stories was about how religion and politics can cause devastation on families.  How the families can be split down the middle.  It's about how India and Pakistan became separate.  Sometimes people who are truly innocent can be hurt so much even though they have done nothing except live in a country that divided.  This story can be put into place today.  Think how families are being divided.These stories are all about people and their feelings, emotions and how they have gotten through. Most of all the tears that have been shed.

I received a copy of this book from the author and voluntarily decided to review it.

I would give this book 4 STARS.


1 comment:

G.V.Reddy said...

Thank you for the review!