Author: Ken Langer
Release Date: 25th October 2020
Genre: Contemporary Fiction, World Fiction
Publisher: Dryad Press
MEENA KAUL is riding high in her position as director of Behera House, a safe haven in India for women who have survived domestic violence. But when the stock market crashes, Behera House loses its funding to expand. The right-wing Hindu Democratic Party (HDP), seeing an opportunity to win women’s votes before a national election, steps in with a multimillion-dollar grant. While Meena is reluctant to accept the offer, it is the only way for the project to proceed. Her worst fears come to pass when the HDP wins the election and begins to chip away at a hundred years of progress on women’s rights.
Meanwhile, Simon Bliss, America’s foremost “green” architect, who had been commissioned to design the new facility, falls for the alluring Meena and is drawn into the perilous world of Indian politics. In his attempt to loosen the HDP’s grip on Meena and win her affection, Simon takes on reactionary politicians, shady priests, and crooked businessmen. In the process, he comes face to face with disturbing truths about his past, while Meena finds herself trapped in ways she never could have expected. A Nest for Lalita is a tale of passion and murder against the backdrop of an ancient country trying to find its identity in a fast-changing world.
A Nest For Lalita by Ken Langer is a good story full of complex themes and backdrops and woven into an intricate as well as engaging plot.
When I started reading this book, I was a little sceptical because I am usually uncomfortable with books written by foreign authors writing about India after having spent a couple of weeks or months here, believing they understand everything about India. The problem is not their understanding or their warped perception but the wrongful presentation of a culture and country that they do not fully comprehend which in turn goes a long way in giving birth to many misconceptions about the country and the people living here. But thankfully, this book wasn’t like that, or at least not in that particular sense. It was more about the story of an individual rather than a social commentary of the clogged roads.
I liked the story as it was very engaging and made for a nice read. Many things mentioned in the story may not necessarily be correct, but fiction is forgiving that way and so are fiction readers. Anyway, if you like reading about other culture and a different way of life, then this book would make for a good read.
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