October 28, 2009

Haunting Bombay by Shilpa Agarwal: Review

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In Haunting Bombay by Shilpa Agarwal, Pinky lost her mother when she was an infant and now lives with her grandmother and uncle and his family. While her grandmother loves her, the same can't be said for Auntie Savita. She takes every opportunity to remind Pinky that she doesn't belong there.

From the outside, the Mittal family seems like a blessed family but appearances are deceiving. Every night a bathroom door must be locked to keep an evil spirit from reeking havoc upon them all. One night Pinky opens the door and lets out not only a ghost but family secrets and shames.

I don't think Haunting Bombay was for me. There were some beautifully written sections. I wished that the whole book had been like that but there was a lot of extraneous information that could have been culled with tighter editing. I felt that it dragged down the pace of the story.

I also found that I couldn't get attached to Pinky. This might have been because of the writing style which wandered in and out of the heads of every character. I had trouble keeping track of whose point of view I was reading.

If I couldn't love Pinky, I didn't feel the same about Nimish, the cousin and crush of Pinky. He's an interesting boy. He walks around reading aloud from his history books and it usually pertains to what is happening in the room at the time. He's also hopelessly in love with the girl next door. He's my pick for best character in the book.

Most of what I had read before about India involved the poor of India. Haunting Bombay was an interesting look at the upper class of the country after the Partition. I also enjoyed reading about a part of India I never knew about: the hijras.

My thanks to TLC Book Tours for the review copy. For more opinions, see the blog tour schedule.

7 comments :

  1. I felt the same way! I wanted so much to like these characters but, in the end, didn't care about one of them. I almost put the book down at one point but decided to push through and finish it.

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  2. I'm sad you didn't enjoy this one as much as I did! Thanks for the honest review though.

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  3. It's unfortunate the cover is so pretty but the book isn't as good. Thanks for an honest review- good to know :-)

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  4. I'm sorry this book wasn't for you! But I guess that's what makes books so fantastic -- that they speak to people in different ways.

    Thanks for your honest review, Chris!

    PS Love the new template!

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  5. Sorry this book seemed a little disappointing. I still hope to give it a try at some point.

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  6. I agree that I couldn't get super attached to Pinky. For me, the book worked because I really enjoyed the extraneous info, but I could see how it could bog the book down if you weren't into it.

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