The Inheritance of Loss
First sentence: All day, the colors had been those of dusk, mist moving like a water creature across the great flanks of mountains possessed of ocean shadows and depths.
Reflections: The Inheritance of Loss won the Booker Prize in 2006. The novel is set in India during the 1980s, and the plot centered around political conflict. I'm sure if I had more knowledge of the situation in India at that time, I would have appreciated the novel more. Kiran Desai's prose is lyrical and beautiful. It was her writing that held my interest.
I failed to identify with most of the characters. Each of the main characters is an outsider: for various reasons they are not in their home country or have spent so much time away from India that they feel out of place. For example, two elderly women who spent extensive time in England, ensure they always have on hand "familiar comforts" such as English foods and clothing. This I could relate to, having spent 4 years away from my home country. Although it was a fantastic experience, many times I felt like an outsider and knew I would never be fully part of the local community. I've been surprised to feel even more of an outsider since returning "home." Living abroad changes you in many ways. It's made me stronger and more thoughtful, and increased my curiosity about other cultures. Unfortunately there are few I can share this experience with so it remains a somewhat hidden part of who I am ...
The original review can be found here.