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Rescuing Ranu Paperback – April 2, 2009
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Best Books of the Year So Far in fiction, nonfiction, mysteries, children's books, and much more.
From the Author
- · Ashoke is related to Nela, and yet he betrays her. Mami exploits Ranu, but later helps Nela to save her. Why? The child's deformity serves as a symbol. Of what?
- · Although Nela and Jackson do not plan to stay together, they marry in order to get Ranu to safety. Would you consider this a purely altruistic act?
- · Jackson sacrifices his personal happiness with Nela because the village needs him more than she, and Nela puts her child's needs ahead of her own. What's the cost/benefit ratio of their decisions?
- · Is the bird in front (Nela) leading, or being chased? In which instances?
- · Were you surprised that Nela would take Ranu back to India, after sacrificing so much?
- · Why is Nela happier in India this time? What part does her lingering shame (discussed in Shiva's Arms) play? Jackson's sincere support of her work?
About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
Throughout the book, I found myself trying to imagine being Nela, the main character, and wondered what decisions I would have made given her circumstances. Ultimately, the difficulty I had in imagining myself in her capable shoes gave me great respect for the decisions she made/directions she chose...and I am still thinking about them days afterwards. Though Nela is highly intelligent (a scientist) and independent - the kind of person who could quite easily spend life alone - she is not impervious to love's inexplicable ways, which gives her a delightful charm. Strong women everywhere will applaud and root for her.
When the end came, I was sorry I couldn't travel on with these rich characters. The ending is applaud-worthy and will leave you longing to know more about these rich characters and the motivations that drive their actions.
Flying home from India, Nela sits next to a westerner on the plane and muses on math and the importance of seeing someone's eyes. Sitting together in a car, two mathematicians smile, "You iterate and I converge." Mathematician that I am, I'm hooked. But lyrical descriptions of Indian tradition are equally enticing, and pages pass in a fire-fly dance of otherness, belonging and story.
The author conveys the passion of mathematical mystery just as beautifully as that of love, and opens the worlds of university, India and mathematics to delightful scrutiny. But Jackson and Nela don't just come from different geographical places. The mystery of family ties and separation fuel their relationship too, and Nela's relationships with her future, job and students.
Particularly impressive is the author's ability to include Indian words and concepts without need for obvious explanation. Images flow naturally and vividly with powerful emotions. The scene shifts; one leads, one follows, and in India little Ranu flits, sometimes young, sometimes old, on a path that skirts disaster. Perhaps love plots the turning shape of the graph.
In the end, a story that starts on one part of a circle ends on another, but the circle's the same, unbroken despite the distance it lies across. Nela completes her best work, and hope and story survive.Read more ›