- File Size: 1271 KB
- Print Length: 264 pages
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publication Date: October 14, 2013
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00FVSP82Q
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #605,256 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
An Unlikely Goddess Kindle Edition
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Unlike most independent authors, Mohana Rajakumar, known on Twitter as @Moha_Doha, eschews genre writing. Her novels include elements of romance, but they do not follow the conventional girl-meets-boy story.
An Unlikely Goddess is mainstream literature, and you can even look at it as part of the stream of books about the Indian immigrant experience, along with Rohinton Mistry and Michael Ondaatje.
The novel follows Sita from her birth in India. Her mother, Mythili, and the whole family are bitterly disappointed that her first born child is a girl. “What if he leaves me?” is her first thought after seeing her daughter. Mythili’s sister-in-law, Priya, drops the new-born on the hospital floor.
Sita’s life doesn’t get better after that. Her parents, Mythili and Sundar, never fail to remind Sita of how much she disappoints them throughout her life. This gets worse after Mythili gives birth to a boy, Manoj.
When Mythili is still a young child, the family emigrates to Florida, of all places, where Sundar gets a perpetually temporary job as a researcher in a university. But Sundar never manages to get a promotion or even a permanent position, so he is never able to afford much of a lifestyle. He and his family can only look enviously at the success and socio-economic climb of other Indian immigrants as they move to large suburban homes and buy expensive cars.
What I liked
Characterization is the main strength of An Unlikely Goddess. Not only do we see the action through Sita’s eyes, Rajakumar’s prose enables us to experience an entire world through Sita — especially her conflicted feelings toward her parents.
The secondary characters are also well-developed, and they grow believably, too. Mythili gradually becomes aware of the subservience she’d been socialized to accept, and begins to develop some independence from her husband. Sundar goes through several stages of anger and resentment, blaming his family for his own career failures, but finally begins to mellow and even accept his daughter’s untraditional desires.
The only weak part is the last love interest, Richard. He’s just too good to be true — but then, after everything that the author has put her main character through, she deserves a really great guy.
Mohana Rajakumar is a prolific and professional independent author. An Unlikely Goddess is her eighth book, and her bibliography includes novels, story collections, anthologies and non-fiction.
An Unlikely Goddess is well written, well edited and has a professionally designed cover. The author’s style is clean and easy to read. Rajakumar is another independent author who reinforces the point that the commercial publishers have no monopoly on quality.
The mother Mythili was once accomplished but gave it all up for marriage and is always telling her daughter to get married.
The daughter refuses to become married and eventually moves to England and obtains her Master's Degree.
In the end she marries an Englishman.
The book details many scenes of rural and city life in India. Anyone planning to visit India would enjoy this book and find much of interest in the way of customs, clothes, food and family life, which is at the core of understanding India.
I found that many memories of my own travels in India were brought back to life.
Yes, this was a fine novel.
Suitable for everyone.
When a title fits the book in every way with everything within the tale, its like the sprinkles on top of a cake. The added sparking making it an amazing read. An Unlikely Goddess covers everything this book is about from the narrow focus of Sita's time with her books to the broad aspect of how she faces and deals becoming her own woman.
One thing about this book that I would normally have an issue reading about was the constant hammering of über and hyper Christianity in the middle of the book. However it was Sita's story to tell, not mine and Moha's writing is so well balanced I fell into the tale face first and did not bother getting back up till I was done. I was telling my friend about the read and she said "Wait, it is a book with a bunch of Christianity and you love it?" Yes I did but the book was not about the Christianity, that was just a story device. It was another experience, not just a book. Reading this from cover to cover Sita's story made me cry, cringe, smile till my face hurt and cheer from the sidelines.
I have a lot of friends who are first generation children like Sita is. Their parents were born and raised in Korea, India and Russia and I remember visiting their homes or like Sita, never getting to visit them for many of the same reasons Sita doesn't have friends over. Technically I am one, but since I was adopted it was a bit different for me since my parents are several generations in so I was not raised in this situation. Like many of her other stories, Moha presents another aspect of these kids within a clash of traditional cultures and US culture. How the people, Sitra in this case, finds a balance. Which is why the über religious aspects are completely necessary.
As a young woman in her twenties I dealt with a lot of people who were intolerant of my religious choice, let alone accepting of it. In other words, I related. This book is another one that made me think. It is solid literary women's literature causing the reader such as me to feel humbled as well as empowered.
For those who may recognize her name, Sita, the protagonist, is based somewhat on the Hindu goddesses epic tale, The Ramayana. The story starts off with her being born unwanted but oblivious from birth on. After all, she is just a little girl and doesn't know any better. From birth, to toddling, through her discovery of reading and how it saved her through out her adolescence onward. Her character is so filled out the other characters are water color edging with Sita in deep heavy oils in the center. This may bother some folks but since Moha writes with a literary paintbrush, it suits and works with the story. I don't care of some of the characters though very well developed are not completely filled out, all I want to know is what will happen next.
If you are looking for a smart literary read, which will give you something to think about, make your heart swell with both happiness and grief, pick this up. I cannot recommend it enough! It may not have zombies and a bunch of six-foot horny praying mantises but where it misses out with the make believe monsters, the real monsters of our reality, the good and the bad, are here in spades. A full five stars of delight. Thanks again for a wonderful read, Moha! Now... who wants Curry, Alaskan winter grilled style??