The Far Field by Madhuri Vijay
Shalini is trying to make sense of her life after the death of her mother. With forays into the past to lay the groundwork for her present actions, Shalini takes us on a journey to The Himalayas as she searches for a friend who disappeared decades ago. Her presence in politically unstable Kashmir is enough to set a series of unfortunate events in motion. Her naivete in this political climate leads to actions and reactions that she will regret for the rest of her life.
Vijay provides a critique of Indian politics and class prejudice through the eyes of her characters. She gives us food for thought about grief, guilt and the limits of compassion. Her very realistic characters are &tender and complex, mysterious and flawed&.
It is easy to be swept up in the flow of the narrative that twists and turns and offers up many surprises along the way.
This great novel is available at the Perth Library, where patrons of the Lanark Highlands Library now have borrowing privileges.
Review by Christine