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The Village by Nikita Lalwani
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The Village (edition 2012)

by Nikita Lalwani

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403285,656 (3.33)1
Member:beeswing
Title:The Village
Authors:Nikita Lalwani
Info:Viking (2012), Paperback, 256 pages
Collections:2013, Your library
Rating:****
Tags:read 2013, fiction, amazon vine

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The Village by Nikita Lalwani

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While I read all of "The Village" by Nikita Lalwani, I was glad when the book ended. I didn't really connect with any of the main or secondary characters. I wasn't indifferent, but I wasn't really invested either. Nathan and Serena got on my nerves. I never liked them. Nandini and other prisoners should have inspired pity and other feelings, and they did. But just a little bit. I didn't feel like I knew them well enough to really feel for them. I had the biggest problem with Ray, oddly because I liked her the best. I still wasn't really connected to her, but I wanted her to make the right choices. I enjoyed what she did at the end of the book. However she also got on my nerves. Up until the end she seems to have trouble making firm decisions. She wavered a lot. And I really, really wanted to see her confront Serena and Nathan. Even near the end when Serena practically invites a confrontation Ray says nothing! Why? It was obvious that Ray was annoyed and upset by their words and actions, so why wouldn't she say something? It drove me crazy! Overall, this was definitely not the book for me. ( )
  bitter_suite | Jul 21, 2013 |
I'm seriously unsure between 3 and 4 stars. About half-way through I would've said 3 stars but I enjoyed the end part of the story and that brought it back up to 4 stars. The story of Ray, Nathan and Serena visiting an open prison in India appealed instantly and I loved the idea of the BBC Documentary and even more so with Ray's culture. It seemed like it could only be a perfect mix for me as a reader, however after having read 'Gifted' and giving it 3/5, I feel this was marginally better but only just.

I engaged with Ray and took a liking to her and she seemed at odds in the prison - liking and respecting their beliefs yet conflicted by own modern western values mixed with her own cultural beliefs. The novel focuses on her at all times with other characters taking the limelight throughout the unfolding story. Yet something didn't seem to hook me as much as it should and I can't put my finger on what. I think I'd expected more from the villagers but they never really stole the limelight and it always came back to Ray.

It was however the ending that boosted the star rating combined with how much I enjoyed the beginning. All in all, I'd recommend it more to someone who enjoys novels set in India rather than because of the story. ( )
  SmithSJ01 | Aug 10, 2012 |
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A follow-up to the award-winning "Gifted" traces the efforts of a team of journalists to understand and document life in an experimental open prison where convicted murderers share their lives in a humble village, a site that becomes incresingly and dangerously subject to the dubious moral codes of its drama-seeking visitors.… (more)

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Penguin Australia

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