December 12, 2013

Sideways on a Scooter by Miranda Kennedy

This book reads more as fiction than non-fiction to me.  I don't know why.  Maybe it's just the tone.  But Kennedy's experiences in India are interesting, but not life like.  Even though it is real life.  Maybe it's just me.

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
Copyright 2011
342 pages

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