The Sleeping Dictionary

The Sleeping Dictionary

Book - 2013
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Kamala, a young peasant woman from West Bengal, is drawn into a forbidden romance in 1930s Calcutta and is caught between the country's independence movement and the British colonial society in which she lives.
Publisher: New York : Gallery Books, 2013
Edition: First Gallery Books trade paperback edition
ISBN: 9781476703169
Branch Call Number: MASSEY S
Characteristics: xix, 496 pages ; 22 cm


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Jun 02, 2019

This was an excellent story to read. Very moving and emotional. Felt the ending was a bit rushed, and a bit too neat, but otherwise so worth the wait to read it! I'll be reading more of Massey's books in the near future.

Great way to get some background on pre WWII India up to the time of independence. Of course the heroine escaped death too many times to be realistic but she needed to survive to tell the story of India through the life of a low-born peasant orphaned by a tsunami through to learning English as a servant in a boarding school then on to the brothel system in British India and the dysfunctional government in India leading to its independence. I learned a lot and the writing is intelligent and entertaining. I was daunted by the Indian glossary at the front of the book but it is totally not necessary as the Indian words are easy to parse in context. And I did try the rice recipe at the end of the book.

Oct 04, 2015

I so enjoyed this book because of the strong character of Pom. Her strength and intelligence makes the journey through this time in history hopeful in the face of overwhelming odds.
A rewarding read.

Nov 18, 2013

I read about this book in the Mpls Star Trib and immediately put it on hold. It was definitely worth the wait. Massey creates a strong female character who withstands more adversity than most people could handle. Although I am not quite finished with the book, I love that our protagonist takes on roles which were always dominated by males. Typhoons, tidal waves, orphaned, and a survivor. Wow.


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