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Black Bread White Beer by Niven Govinden
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Black Bread White Beer (edition 2012)

by Niven Govinden

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101880,191 (5)3
Member:parrishlantern
Title:Black Bread White Beer
Authors:Niven Govinden
Info:The Friday Project (2012), Kindle Edition, 188 pages
Collections:The Parrish Lantern, review-copies, fiction, owned, Read
Rating:*****
Tags:Fiction, Niven Govinden, HarperCollins Publishers UK, re, Review Copy, The Friday Project, Authonomy

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Black Bread White Beer by Niven Govinden

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Amal’s recovering from the night before, where he allowed himself to get “stinking drunk” after leaving the hospital, his wife, and the now never to be born child of theirs. The ward sister had chased him out with well meaning remarks of support for his welfare and an understanding that he was in the way. It’s now the morning after this fracture in their lives and Amal needs to get to the hospital to collect Claud, his wife, and to make things right.

Black Bread White Beer explores the everyday minutiae of a loving relationship that, like microorganisms, can sustain or destroy a marriage.Those wonderful quirks of a loved one that can become needles attacking your very essence.

Covering the twenty four hours after the loss of their unborn child, we follow Amal, and through him we learn of his love & the relationship he has with his wife & it’s through him we watch it teeter, wobble & slowly fall. Amal is a modern Indian (Bengali) man married to a middle class English Woman, and it’s in the heartland of his wife’s family that this story plays out; with Claud retreating to her family home after her loss. Claud insists that they don’t tell her parents about the miscarriage (the visit is to help her father plumb the washing machine), meaning that they both have to bear their grief alone, isolating them from family, friends & ultimately each other.

This is the first book I’ve read by Niven Govinden but it won’t be the last, in this book he confronts all those issues facing people who dare to commit to another individual and does so with the utmost empathy, passion and yet with a precision that in other hands could have become cold and abstract. Although seen from Amal’s perspective, we get an insight into the complexity of a marriage, with all the subtle and not so subtle pressures that different cultural influences can place upon it and how shared memories can become a means of communication, when all around you is turmoil and hurt.

http://parrishlantern.blogspot.co.uk/2012/12/black-bread-white-beer-niven-govind... ( )
  parrishlantern | Dec 14, 2012 |
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