AUTHOR: Rasana Atreya
PUBLISHER: self-published through CreateSpace
GENRE: literary, women's fiction
If you’re looking for a peek into the lives and traditions of rural communities in India during the 1980’s and 90’s, Tell a Thousand Lies will be an eye-opener. Pullamma, the main character, is a young girl brought up to believe that one of the worst things a woman can do is get a good education. All she wants to do is get married to the perfect husband and have beautiful children, but this proves nearly impossible when she is proclaimed a Goddess by the local oracle. In Tell a Thousand Lies, author Rasanya Atrea juggles political corruption, superstition and deep-rooted traditions as she weaves a love story that could break your heart.
Not being familiar with Indian names or traditions, the first few chapters weren't a quick read. But as I kept going, I became familiar with terms and word usage that once seemed foreign, and the book picked up speed. Rasanya’s writing is smooth, but it was not her use of words that drew me in or kept me reading. I was intrigued by the setting and premise of the story.
About halfway through the book, though, I found myself disappointed. While the main character, Pullamma, is written to be a sweet young woman who only wants to do the right thing, she is often shallow and selfish. Even though I rooted for her and turned the pages to find out what happened next, I was never able to identify with her. I cheered for her as she became a more independent, confident character, but the stronger she became the less I could connect to her.
Tell a Thousand Lies is an exciting tale of love, deceit, family values and superstition. If you are interested in the traditions and culture of India, pick it up, but prepare yourself for a heroine who is an emotional wreck. The book is suitable for a young adult audience.
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