Thirst

Thirst

Book - 2012
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The gorgeous, poignant new novel about unexpected love within an arranged marriage in mid-century India, by the award-winning author of Brahma's Dream.
 
Thirst is about many forms of desire--and most particularly, at its heart, about love unexpectedly found and lost during a difficult time (WWII) and in an unlikely spot: within a hastily arranged union between two young people who begin their marriage as complete strangers. The lovers are Vasanti, an intelligent woman who has nonetheless grown up naive and protected; and Baba, the scion of a prominent Brahmin family who longs to study in London, thus escaping the family compound in Nagpur. The novel moves between the lushness of India and the sombre grayness of London during the Blitz, even as Ghatage brilliantly unwinds the story of two conflicted people who, slowly but surely, learn to tolerate, then like, then passionately love each other just as their worlds fall apart.
Publisher: Toronto : Doubleday Canada, [2012]
Copyright Date: ©2012
ISBN: 9780385666657
Branch Call Number: GHA
Characteristics: 284 pages ; 22 cm

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Cdnbookworm Sep 14, 2012

This novel begin with a young East Indian man in Wales in 1942, who appears to have lost his memory. He is taken in by a kindly older man, Mr Owens who lives with his troubled daughter Catherine. They call him Hari. Hari stays with them awhile hoping his memory will return, troubled by Catherine's illness. He decides to go to London, hoping to find assistance there.
When he goes to London, something there triggers his memory and he remembers who he is, Vijay Chafékar, a young man in London to study law. We now get the story of his past life in India. We see how he entered an arranged marriage shortly before coming to India, and see the story of his young bride Vasanti, mourning the recent loss of her father and very innocent, trusting, and intelligent. We see the story of their marriage, and how they gradually get to know each other, trust each other and grow into their new roles. Vijay's reasons for travelling to London are more complex they he lets on, and have to do with his relationship with his father. But his experiences in London educate him in life, and how people are the way they are.
An insightful book of the gaining of knowledge, and of how simple acts can change the course of a life in big ways.

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