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Thursday, August 13, 2009

This story is set in India which means that as one reads, bits of culture are picked up along the way. In a quiet and delightful way. A number of stories are woven together into one novel, with themes running through each of them, and deep connections. Kanai is a well-to-do Indian going to visit his aunt, to read a story that his uncle wrote and left to him years ago. Piya was born to Indian parents but grew up in America, and is back in India to study dolphins. Fokir is a man who catches crabs for a living and knows the islands and rivers and tides in the Bay of Bengal as well as his own home.

As always, nothing is quite as clear as it seems. People meet each other and their initial reactions are rarely correct. Especially in this setting, where there are so many factors that are unseen. Each of the characters in this book is searching for something .. meaning, a place to call home, worth, accomplishment, a better life, love. In various ways, with varying amounts of success. Fokir is a simple man who is viewed as inferior by many, but Piya sees him as someone who is knowledgeable, and could be a boon for her research. This is a beautiful example of someone who sees differently. So often we get caught up in matching things to the standards of the world, but Piya refuses to play into that and is willing to see value in anyone around her. Her example, while not perfect, is a reminder to me to be careful of who and how I see those around me.

Title:The Hungry Tide
Author: Amitav Ghosh
Date published:2005
Genre: Fiction
Number of pages: 329
Notes: from Karen K.Y.


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