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Monday, 16 December 2013

Book Review : Kashi by Terin Miller

Synopsis of Book:

Kashi is a tale of clashes of cultures, relationship experiments and religious and moral differences in the holiest of Hindu cities, just at the time Indias second generation of independence comes to adulthood in the form of Sumita Meetha Sharma.

Meetha Sharma, educated, attractive, worldly, the daughter of a wealthy importexport businessman in the nascent new Indian middle - class, desires to be like her American and other expatriate friends. She chafes at old world ideas of behavior and conformity and longs to be seen as an equal in society. But her desires have consequences she doesnt fully realize, especially for the traditional Hindu musician to whom she was promised when she was 13.
A story of a generation of Indians unlike any that has come before them born in a free and independent country, a country only granted its freedom after much effort and sacrifice by their forebears, a country only granted the opportunity to rise in the world as its former colonial status fades into history.

First self-published in the United States as From Where The Rivers Come, Kashi won in the category of Multicultural Fiction in the Best Books 2010 contest, sponsored by USA Book News.

It has also received honorable mention recognition in Writers Digest 2010 International Self - Published Book Awards, the 2010 Paris Book Festival and Beach Book Festival in the fiction category and the 2009 New York Festival, the London Book Festival and New England Book Festival.


‘Kashi’ is a book written by Terin Miller. I couldn’t even think of using a place like Kashi and name of a Non-Indian Author in one sentence. However, I just did it in the first line of this review. This book is something new to Indian literature by a non-Indian author.

With his interesting communication skills, the author narrates a story of Banaras or Kashi. From the very first word, Terin Miller has maintained the essence of Indian tradition. I loved the narrating skills. It binds the readers and forces them to read. I am an Indian still, I haven’t yet visited Banaras and now I think that I don’t even need to visit it. It was all in front of my eyes.

The book open ups with a four lead characters i.e. John, Chet Bardus, Liz and Meetha. I loved the was author portrayed Meetha’s character. The book talks about Meetha, an independent woman still somewhere tied with the ropes of typical Indian society.

Story takes you to India of 1980s. Unlike today, Indians had huge belief in baseless traditions and they were following them blindly. This 160 pages book talks about the struggle and that one-step taken by Meetha against those rituals and traditions which winged her life and made her free of fly.

Heart breaking thing about this book is its pricing. The book priced Rs. 175 which isn’t looking appropriate with the thickness of this book. I mean the costing of this book is actually very low.  However, there are many criteria based on which the final pricing of book is decided. Publishers know it better, but for a reader, it is too expensive.

Another thing I think I felt after 50 pages that the writer was trying to drag the plot and increase the word count. I noticed it just once. However, I can’t deny the fact that apart from these minor flaws, the book is really good.

I will give it 4 out of 5

A Review by Team Purple Pen

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