Tuesday, September 4, 2012

A Beautiful Lie (review)

3.5/5 stars

A Beautiful Lie is written for a younger audience than I anticipated but I like the idea of this book for a middle grade reader.  It's set in the days leading up to the Partition in India.  I've always found India fascinating (the colors, the food!) but frankly aside from all the classic children books that use it as a backdrop, I know nothing about it.  (I.E. Little Princess, Secret Garden).

In the waning days of NAME OF MC's father's life, India is quickly unravelling.  A muslim who grew up in a multicultural, multinational trading village, MC's father loves India as it is.  He refuses to believe that India will ever change.

But it's changing, rapidly, and his son wants to protect him from that knowledge.  Along with a group of his friends, he tries to protect his father from the truth.  They create an eleborate system of steering visitors away to keep the lie going.  The longer he lies, the easier it becomes to MAIN CHARACTER.  He's feels guilty for lying to his father and everyone else, but can't bear to let his father know that India is faltering.

The story is a sad sweet story about a boy who is losing his father and his home.  The love between father and son is so central despite the rarity of that you actually see the father.  This is also a story about friendship, between MAIN CHARACTER and his friends, all different but all united in this project.

At times the book drags, there are some confusing sections and it feels quite young.  Yet I enjoyed reading it.  It's a small sliver of life as it's effected by the greater portion of history.


Unknown said...

I love YA books set in unique countries that expose kids to other cultures ;)

Have you read Tiny Sunbirds, Far Away (Nigeria) or Laugh with the Moon (Malawi) - they were both pretty good YA books

Cassi Haggard said...

I'm not sure if I've read any of these. I'll have to add them to the TBR pile. Lately I've been digging books that take place in different countries.