|Image Credit: Indiebound|
I have plunged into this sad habit of writing reviews of books long after I finish reading them. It's frustrating in some ways because not all books stick to the surface of good memories - more often than not, these words we spend so many hours over - how many really last? We read to forget time - and then cannot remember the moments we lost that time for.
Padma Vishwanathan's epic Toss of a Lemon was one of those books that I spent a lot of time on - and now as I slowly crank these wheels of memory, shreds of the story keep coming. Here's the book description from Amazon:
Sivakami was married at ten, widowed at eighteen, and left with two children. According to the dictates of her caste, her head is shaved and she puts on widow's whites. From dawn to dusk, she is not allowed to contaminate herself with human touch, not even to comfort her small children.Sivakami dutifully follows custom, except for one defiant act: She moves back to her dead husband's house to raise her children. There, her servant Muchami, a closeted gay man who is bound by a different caste's rules, becomes her public face. Their singular relationship holds three generations of the family together through the turbulent first half of the twentieth century, as India endures great social and political change. But as time passes, the family changes, too; Sivakami's son will question the strictures of the very beliefs that his mother has scrupulously upheld.