In Anita desai Book Review

Book Review: The Village By the Sea by Anita Desai

Village By the Sea (New Windmill)

It's a story of a poor six members' family of Thul, a village, 14 miles away from Bombay (Written in 1982 ). The story depicts the lifestyle of poor Indian families living nearby Sea, their only hope the fishing, and those palm trees. In the family, while the unemployed father was a drinker, the mother was suffering from Anemia and remained on the bed all the time. Lila, the eldest daughter though only 13 yrs. old understood the conditions fast, and along with her 12 yrs old brother Hari soon became food providers of their family. Bela and kamal were still kids.

Sorry, I forgot another member of their family -- their dog pinto -- later killed by their neighbour, feeding poison.

These were the few central and essential characters, the writer needed to discuss the pros and cones of lifestyles of those fishermen living nearby the sea; how badly monsoon affects them.  the story seems to move slowly, but it moves, and empathetically keeps you in sync with the characters. When Hari goes to Bombay in percussion for a job. Lila seems to be everything for the survival of rest of family. The story depicts the penury, unity of Indian family in penury when Lila's mother was admitted to hospital in Alibagh by De Silvas, the last hope of Lila to keep alive her mother. Her father ran to the hospital  stayed there for nearly seven months until she got well. The story ends positively, tries to say many things. In the background, the author also tells about jhopdiwallas' of Bombay, how badly monsoon affects their daily lives .

This is Anita Desai's first novel for children, and it received the Guardian Children's Fiction Award in 1982. Reading the book somewhere reminds me the writing of Jhumpa Lahiri.

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  1. Hey there! I just started following you after you added me on Goodreads. This book sounds good. It's fun to "meet" people from all over the world through reading. :)

    Please stop by my blog to follow me too! Thanks.

    -Sandra from

    1. Very true.......but see how the children act when they have to handle the responsibility....good to know we have better children in India

    2. Yes very true........good to know that u r also on Goodreads.

  2. The first time I read it, I was very young and I didnt really understand the beauty of the plot or the characterization. Then some years back, I bought a copy and read it and it all made perfect sense. It was wonderful to read and experience because the characters and the narrative is so real and visual, key strengths of a good author and we all know that Anita Desai is unparalleled in that.

  3. I just added your website on my blogroll. I may come back later on to check out updates. Excellent information!