The Sleeping Dictionary by Sujata Massey
THE GREAT READING BINGE OF 2016
My trial is hard indeed. Just when I need a helpmate the most, I am thrown back on myself. Nevertheless, I record my vow that even in this trial, I shall win through. Alone, then, shall I tread my thorny path to the end of this life’s journey.
Oh this one was fantastic.
Set in India/Burma pre-during WWII, thus is the account of a young Indian woman who overcomes all odds and makes a life for herself. At a young age, she loses her entire family to a Tsunami and is saved herself by climbing a tree and fate of having taken a different path home that day. She wanders lost for awhile until she finds employment as a maid in a school for English girls in India. Over the course of a few years, she learns to read and write English on the sly. She befriends a young Indian woman who was from her home village and uses her skills in English to help her write letters to her fiance in England. Sadly, her friend passes away due to malaria and she is forced away due to accusations of theft and she finds herself nameless and unemployed. She makes it her vow to one day find her friends fiance and prove to him that it was she who wrote the letters, and confirm their love.
Her life journey continues to a whore house, pregnant and alone, and then employed to an English gentleman as his librarian. She faces hardship, loss, betrayal, love, etc along the way and finds out who she is along the way.
This book was beautiful and captivating and reminded me a little of A Little Princess. She faces down life and comes out triumphant and proves to the world a single woman of no standing can make a name for herself in the world of men. And what we think we want is not always what we need. It’s also a good look at the way Indian women were treated at the start of the century. (And still today, I believe). The MC goes through so many changes and flourishes. She was strong, she perservered, and she made a life for herself.
I recommend this to the women of the world who need an uplifting, powerful story.