Book of the Week/Free Press Book Review 4/24/12

Anuradha Roy’s debut novel, An Atlas of Impossible Longing, was a favorite among readers and literary critics alike. She hasn’t lost her talent for beautiful prose, vivid descriptions, and wonderful storytelling in her second novel, The Folded Earth (Free Press, 2012).

Released in the UK and India in May 2011, The Folded Earth has been reprinted in 16 languages, shortlisted for The Hindu 2011 Literary Prize for Best Fiction and longlisted for the 2011 Man Asian Literary Prize..

The Folded Earth flows with genius and love of language as it tells the story of Maya, who flees to Ranikhet in an attempt to escape the loss of her husband Michael. Ranikhet is a rural village in the Himalayas’ foothills, and readers can’t help but feel Maya’s pain and solitude as well as peer into her perspectives on her landlord and friend Diwan Shahib, an eccentric former nobleman, and a feisty peasant girl, Charu, who convinces Maya to teach her how to read and write.

If there’s ever an excellent example of “show versus tell” in novel writing, The Folded Earth rates at the top. Not only was it not difficult to become immersed into the story right away, but also easy to picture the scenery in my mind of the rural village and appearances of each character.

Just as she had in An Atlas of Impossible Longing,, Anuradha Roy displays a strong literary gift of blending psychology with nature. It is a beautiful book that shouldn’t be missed.

Rating: 5.0/5.0

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