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Village By the Sea Paperback – August 2, 2010

3.8 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Anita Desai was born and brought up in India and has written widely for both adults and children. She has been shortlisted for the Booker Prize and has won the Guardian Fiction Award.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 260 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin; 1 edition (August 2, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0143335499
  • ISBN-13: 978-0143335498
  • Product Dimensions: 7.6 x 5.1 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,539,632 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By HORAK on July 30, 2004
Format: Paperback
Anita Desai's wonderful novel tells the story of a family living in the small fishing village of Thul, 14 kilometres from Bombay, India. It is more precisely the story of two young people, Hari, a boy of 14, and Lila, a girl of 13, with a will to survive. Their task is not easy. Lila has to look after their mother who is very ill with fever and requires constant care. She is also in charge of all the household chores and has to look after their two younger sisters, Bela and Kamal. Hari on the other hand has to work in the fields, selling whatever he can at the market to feed the family. Indeed, their father has long ceased to be a fisherman, his sole occupation being to get drunk on toddy every night along with his chums in the village.

Fortunately, next to their hut is a large country house called Mon Repos which is owned by the de Silvas from Bombay and whenever they come on holiday to Thul, Lila and Hari can earn some extra money by helping with the household or doing work in the garden. But there is a rumour in the village saying that soon the rice fields and the coconut groves will be replaced by a large fertiliser factory. The location of Thul was chosen by the Government for its closeness to the port of Rewas. So new highways and railway lines are to be build and the villagers are worried about their future. Are they skilled enough to get a job at the factory? What will become of their traditional way of life? Will the air and the sea be polluted by chemicals? When a delegation is sent to Bombay to express their worries to the Minister Sahib, Hari decides to join the party. Before leaving, he decides that Bombay may offer him a better life opportunity than his frightened sisters, his sad house, his ill mother and his drunken father. And it is indeed in Bombay where this delicate boy, who
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By A Customer on February 14, 2003
Format: Paperback
It is only once in a while that one comes across a book which is so very genuine in presentation and content. The story of Hari and Lila, two village kids aged 12 and 13 respectively and their struggles with an ailing mother and drunkard father, while supporting a family is poignant and refreshing at the same time.
Why and how Hari in the face of abject poverty and destitution runs away to Bombay and how Lila manages to pull through the months when he's not there makes a very pleasing reading. In a country as India, where poverty abounds and personal despair can never be desparate enough, it shows how circumstances can make men out of boys and ditto for girls. There is no loss greater than the loss if human spirit and this is the message from this book. Coping with change is the most basic of human instincts yet we often struggle to maintain status quo.
Apart from this, the style is very pleasant and smooth. Having visited both Bombay and the villages near Alibagh, I can vouch for the fact that justice has been rendered to those environs. The ace in the stroy is the inclusion of Dr Sayyed Ali, India's noted orinthologist, to bring out a very important aspect. Overall the use is symbolism is profound and the conclusions heart warming. A definite read.
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Format: Paperback
This is a story of a poor Indian family who are being torn apart by illness and alcohol. The children of the family work and fight to keep there family together. On the way they have to deal with change and tragedy. This book had a typical ending which is very easy to predict, and had no real surprises. However the characters in the book where strong and determined, they keep the reader reading by the way they got through life on so little. The book shows that if you want something bad enough it is possible to get it.
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Format: Hardcover
This book is about two village children for whom there is no choice but to live like adults - bracing responsibilities and duties at a very young age. If you are a sensitive reader, you would feel the various bitter and pungent tastes in the air of the book. One of them is the casual disregard of the community regarding the plight of these children...as if it is the way life is or as if it is natural of children to take up the up-bringing of their siblings if their parents are unable to or not willing to.

You will enjoy this book if you like to relish diversities in the ways people live... if you enjoy the fact that life changes its facade every few kilometers. I enjoyed the imagery: the smells, the lights, the tastes; the little things that make the lives of these children different from life as I know it and the little things that are the same.

I have advised many young readers to read this book as it is bound to add to your earth-experience. This is a personal phrase which to me means becoming more knowledgeable about life of humans... becoming more human-savvy.
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Format: Paperback
Village By The Sea Is A Touching Story Of A Poor Indian Family, Living In Bombay India. The Main Characters are the 2 oldest Children Lila and Hari, and how they raise the whole family and live through the hard times. At times you really feel Indian climate. One of my favorite parts is Desai's description of butterflys. It's beautiful.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a very pleasont reading. We could say that the main character en the story is a very poor family. The mother is in bed, very ill. The father is a drunkard, and the four children try to live and progress in this difficult scenario.

Anyway, the end of the story is optimistic and the descriptions of local rites and traditions are enjoyable. I found it a bit simple, but I liked it.
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