Tuesday, September 18, 2007

On Borrowed Wings by Chandra Prasad

When I first heard about this novel by Chandra Prasad, I was very excited about reading it. My husband was born in Bombay India and I'm always interested in a peek into the Asian psyche. (Hey it beats marriage counseling - j/k- you know I love ya honey!)

So I was disappointed to find that the subject of the novel is not an Indian woman but of one Adele Pietra, daughter of a quarryman who goes to Yale disguised as her brother who was accepted but then tragically killed. Since the author did indeed attend Yale I was left with the thought that this book would have been much more interesting if she had written from her life. Her prose is very well done and her descriptions, a real interest-killer are not overdone. There are exciting and interesting elements to the story,a social outreach by the protagonist, a romance, a "National Treasures" find in the tunnels under Yale, suspense, drama, family conflict but what kept coming back to me was- "What will Adele do when she earns her diploma from Yale in her brother's name!"

I know I am the ultimate pragmatist and maybe I let that ruin the story for me. In the great tradition of literature the disguise of the feminine is not unknown. Immediately we think of National Velvet, Mulan, George Eliot. I understand that the point is to highlight the inequities that women face but I'm fiercely loyal to my sex and there is no enticement to me to "transform myself into a man".

While this was not my favorite book, I will definitely look for other titles by Chandra Prasad because I think she shows promise and she will hopefully keep writing. Maybe next time she will write about the "real girl" that went to Yale.

Available from Amazon books.


surgite et coffeam olfacite said...

hi mary, we're starting a book club want to join?

Anonymous said...

WHOH!!! Starting a book club and inviting Mary is like starting a cooking club and inviting Julia Child (RIP) or a writing club and inviting Charles Dickens! Can't wait to hear all about it! I wish I could join-but I have no books!
You'll have a great group I am sure of that!

surgite et coffeam olfacite said...

Except she's neither as man nor dead. You can join anon, we have but two rules, you must be opinionated and not a freak, I don't know why they let me in but I guess we're willing to wave the rules for some people. . .