December 12, 2013
Sideways on a Scooter by Miranda Kennedy
Having parents who had done some traveling and were unconventional in their own right, Kennedy moves to India in her twenties where she hopes to make a living as a journalist. While there, she experiences the culture of her city, sees the struggles that women still have in a not-quite-modern-yet India, and makes a few friends of her own that come from very different backgrounds.
This isn't really a book about Alexander. Sure she tells you about her life in India and the apartment she has and a few personal details, but the majority of the book are about the ladies that she makes acquaintances with. There's Geeta, the somewhat modern but longing for a traditional marriage, friend of Alexander's. In complete contrast is Parvati, who dresses traditional but holds very non-traditional views and practices. There's her maid Radha who may do the cleaning but has a lot of pride in her family. And several others who all have different experiences as women living in India.
This book meanders with no clear path except time. It spans a couple of years and jumps around in detail. Conversations are done in full detail while months can drift by in just a few sentences. And I think that's what made it feel like fiction to me. I enjoyed reading about the women Kennedy met but I do wish more detail would have been given to the part of India that she stayed in as far as scenery and more vivid food descriptions. But it was still a good read. It has a nice pace and a lovely way of describing the people in it.
I wouldn't call this a book on India. Or even a travel book. But it is a book about a bunch of different women and their lives and happens to be set in India.
Sideways on a Scooter