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Climbing the Stairs Paperback – February 4, 2010
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"In her first novel, Venkatraman paints an intricate and convincing backdrop of a conservative Brahmin home in a time of change." - "Booklist", starred review
?This novel vivifies a unique era and culture as it movingly expresses how love and hope can blossom even under the most dismal of circumstances.? ?"Publishers Weekly", starred review
?In her first novel, Venkatraman paints an intricate and convincing backdrop of a conservative Brahmin home in a time of change.? ?"Booklist", starred review
This novel vivifies a unique era and culture as it movingly expresses how love and hope can blossom even under the most dismal of circumstances. "Publishers Weekly", starred review
In her first novel, Venkatraman paints an intricate and convincing backdrop of a conservative Brahmin home in a time of change. "Booklist", starred review
About the Author
- Grade level : 7 - 9
- Lexile measure : 750L
- Item Weight : 8.9 ounces
- Paperback : 272 pages
- ISBN-10 : 9780142414903
- ISBN-13 : 978-0142414903
- Dimensions : 5.44 x 0.72 x 8.25 inches
- Publisher : Speak; unknown edition (February 4, 2010)
- Language: : English
- ASIN : 0142414905
- Reading level : 12 - 15 years
- Best Sellers Rank: #569,199 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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The author very often sounds like they are trying to teach more than tell the story. While I enjoyed this aspect, it's not something that may have worked in a separate book or style.
I really loved and related to Vidya and loved that she wasn't a perfect protagonist. She was rash and angry and entirely able to be so, even in a place and world that tried to deny her that anger. Her anger at Raman was refreshing, her relationship with her brother a nice turnaround from the usual spoiled brother/abused daughter we usually see in books. Perhaps on the front of relationships, I would have loved to see more intersection between Vidya and Rifka. Maybe more letters, more time before hand? With so much anger towards the other women in her life, it would have been a good balance to have Rifka more prevalent.
But my biggest complaint is honestly the way Vidya spoke of her father, even after her revelation at the end. She spoke of him as if he was dead, and Kitta is the only one to out and out challenge her and still she doesn't change her mind. Vidya's distance and disdain for her father's state is hurtful to read. That she referred to him as "the man/shell who was once her appa" and "dead" and even "idiot" and is ashamed of non-profit even in the end we don't see much reconciliation of this thread of the story.
It really made me struggle to sympathize with one of the biggest struggles in the book. I heard Vidya say to others "he's not an idiot!" And thought "but he's dead to you, you call him an idiot yourself." It really muddied up that part of the storyline. It didn't read as her guilt mAking her feel that way. It read mostly as her being ashamed he was no longer the bright and shining doctor.
It was unsettling that the author's treated him as dead.
But I feel as if the rich exploration of Hinduism and their philosophies and the many ways that can be interpreted was just really amazing. Learning about the rituals and holidays and the different ways they prepare for things in such a natural and well told story was really a gift.
if the author reads this, I would like to say: Thank you for writing this book. Despite my complaints, I enjoyed it immensely.
I look forward to reading more books by Padma.
Top reviews from other countries
The only thing I didn't like about this book was that the author ensured that all the narrow-minded, cruel and foolish characters were overweight and then dwelt on these attributes - but I guess it's really acceptable, after all, everyone hates fat people, right?