In the Shadow of CrowsManners, David Charles
David and Bindra are on disparate journeys: David is English, searching for extended family on the Indian sub-continent, while Bindra, a leprosy sufferer, is forced to leave her home in the Himalayan foothills. One from a privileged background, the other from poverty and deprivation but when their paths converge an extraordinary friendship is forged.
From spiritual beliefs and cultural practices, to chronic suffering and misery and the celebration of humanity, this is India in all her magnificence and squalor.
An insightful and memorable read.
Comments from GroupsWe found this a deeply moving book. The intertwining stories, linked in India, taught us a lot - about people's capacity for endurance and the enlightened beliefs which enabled them to cope with terrible circumstances. The author's fascinating life gave balance to this very interesting book, which was well discussed. Coromandel 002 We were all very taken with this book, though some members struggled to finish it in time. A book with a lot of depth to it, and fascinating insights - we also found the format of novel/autobiography was very unusual. We generally liked the structure with the back-and -forth between the two stories, feeling it kept our interest and ensured we noticed the parallels in the two lives. The varying languages and cultures were a little hard to follow, but didn't seem to detract from our pleasure in the book. What a country India is! Owaka 001 While 2 people in the group found this too grim to continue with, most of us found it a beautifully written depiction of the "terrible beauty" of India. The author describes a land of extremes: wealth and poverty, kindness and cunning, brutality and gentleness. We were captivated by the charcter of Bindra with her great strength and wisdom. Lower Hutt 004 Most members thought they would not enjoy this when they started, but were most enthusiastic by the end. Great discussion. Aria 001 If you like reading about other cultures this is a good book, but we thought it may put people off travelling to India! We think that reading the notes beforehand would help make more sense of the book, and give a better understanding of things that happened. Dunedin 080 We all enjoyed this book. So beautifully written, and such a positive outlook. Quite inspiring. Gisborne 001 Good discussion. We liked the writing style but thought it did not at all fit with the character, as her thoughts were too advanced for a seven year old. It might have been better written in the third person. Lower Hutt 015