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The Color of our Sky by Amita Trasi
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The Color of our Sky

by Amita Trasi

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THE COLOR OF OUR SKY by Amita Trasi
A bit slow to start but the plot picks up around 100 pages and then moves quickly.
In 1980’s India, a young rural girl with a devastating background is rescued by a Mumbai businessman. She becomes an unpaid servant in his family and best friend to his daughter who is about the same age. Mukta lives with the family until shortly after the mother in the family dies. Mukta is kidnapped and cannot be found. Years later the daughter begins a search for her long lost friend and servant.
The characters seem to change quite a bit with time; the daughter especially wavers in characterization. The very slow start makes this novel difficult to stick with, but the last half of the book presents an intriguing mystery. Stick with it and you do get a rich reward.
Book groups will find themselves presented with unpaid servants, unknown relatives, mysterious happenings, uncaring and ineffective police, aid organizations stymied in their attempts to help and an unflattering look at life in India.
3 of 5 stars ( )
  beckyhaase | Jun 24, 2017 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
This was a very easy to read book about a very difficult subject. The writer kept me interested even though I figured out various connections and answers before they were written. I had a lump in my throat for much of the second half of the book and found it unsettling that there was so much prostitution and sex trafficking involving such young girls. Truly a heartbreaking read when you learn that for some lower caste women and girls who are "temple" prostitutes this was an acceptable and traditional way of life. Truly disheartening when it's so accepted by the men, especially with the children. Here such men would be called pedophiles while in India it was so readily accepted. I was happy to read about the guilt felt by two of the older males characters rather than think their actions meant nothing to them. The characters and this story will remain with me for a long time. I understood Tara but my heart went out to Mukta and hope there will be a follow-up to this book. ( )
  SherryEK | May 23, 2017 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
A wonderful story of class and culture in India. I always learn something new each time I read fiction from India. The Color Of The Sky taught me about yet another chapter in the history of the great country of India. I loved this book and highly recommend it! ( )
  Devlindusty | May 4, 2017 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
The Color of Our Sky is a fictionalized portrait of India’s devdasis – servants of god. They are lower caste women who, from a prepubescent age, serve as prostitutes in the name of god. Traditionally it was a revered position. Today, these women are shunned by the culture that created them. The plight of these women is fraught with abuse and murder, and is ripe with opportunities for child trafficking.

Trasi handles her subject matter with the care and passion it deserves and clearly has skill for her craft. I liked her writing style, yet two things kept gnawing away at me as I read her novel. First, she has the tendency to get carried away with her prose, rendering it overtly melodramatic. Second, despite all thematic twists and turns, the ending was easy to predict. How Trasi deals with this in her future work will ultimately define her writing as genre fiction or literary fiction, both valid forms of fiction. A praiseworthy debut novel. ( )
  BALE | Apr 30, 2017 |
This is a book that covers a topic that is not easy to navigate – sex trafficking. Actually it deals with two difficult topics as it also delves into the caste system in India but not as deeply as it does with prostitution. There are moments of joy, lightness and happiness but this is a book that will stay with you. The images brought to mind while reading are not easy to forget.

Tara is a young girl in a happy household; her father is a progressive thinker who works with NGOs to help children of lower castes. Usually he brings them home for just a couple of days and then they go on to be placed. But one day he brings home a young girl named Mukta and she stays with the family. Mukta is the child of a small town prostitute, part of a generational system of women “dedicated to the goddess” but who are really just kept for the upper caste men. Mukta’s mother wants her to avoid her fate but her grandmother is a mercenary woman and sells her at 8 years old into the system.

Tara’s father is from the same village and on a trip home his mother encourages him to take her and find her a new home for no child deserves such a fate. He brings her home but his wife is not happy. Tara ultimately befriends her and they form a bond that holds firm until one night it breaks.

Mukta is kidnapped from the house one night and Tara is to scared to react. After trying to find her without luck Tara and her father move to the US. After Tara’s father dies she returns to India to try and find Mukta. Tara feels compelled to search for her childhood friend for many reasons and she won’t stop until she finds her.

The book is told in both girls’ voices and moves somewhat confusingly in time. Tara is, for the most part, a very unlikable character. She is at times an unpleasant child and to put it bluntly a pushy and stupid adult. Mukta has the far more compelling story and despite her very hard life she is easier to like. It is awful to read what her life was like but it’s important to bring awareness to these situations. For that alone this book should be read. It’s not a perfect book by any means but it is one that keeps a reader’s interest and has several big twists that caught me by surprise. ( )
  BrokenTeepee | Apr 24, 2017 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0986155608, Paperback)

**AWARD WINNING FINALIST - multicultural fiction - INTERNATIONAL BOOK AWARDS** **5 STAR RATING READER'S FAVORITE** "an extremely well written and engaging novel..the writing style is very lyrical, almost poetic at times, with vivid descriptions of people and places. This is the kind of book where the quality of writing shines through and makes it an enjoyable read in itself, and at the same time sends out a strong, positive social message. This is definitely a must-read book." - Gisela Dixon, READERS' FAVORITE reviewer "This is a beautifully written book, with a very believable, hard hitting storyline and well rounded, emotive characters. The pace of the story is just right, swinging between narrators seamlessly and portraying both young women's perspectives. It reminded me very much of Khaled Hosseini's work, with a similar amount of depth to issues being portrayed. Extremely moving read" - Beverly Crofts, Netgalley reviewer Kirkus reviews: A haunting debut novel about two young women in Mumbai that brings the brutal realities of modern India into focus....The descriptions and dialogue are rich and believable, particularly when Trasi writes from a child’s perspective (“my thoughts would race along with the wind, crossing our village, whistling through mountains, between boulders and rocks, ruffling the leaves on trees, flying with the birds”). The story also takes on difficult subject matter, such as child abuse, HIV, and early mortality, with unflinching seriousness. Even Tara’s interactions with the police demonstrate how chronic disorganization plagues Indian society, allowing countless youths to vanish into bordellos. The two main characters serve as symbols of the entire caste system, and Mukta’s memory of her dreary village consistently reminds readers how rigid and prosaic many ancient traditions can be. Although both main characters must contend with destiny—a recurring concept—the story makes clear that there may still be hope for their children....A sad, soulful, and revelatory story about a deeply troubled nation in transition."--Kirkus reviews BOOK DESCRIPTION : A sweeping, emotional journey of two childhood friends—one struggling to survive the human slave trade and the other on a mission to save her—two girls whose lives converge only to change one fateful night in 1993. India, 1986: Mukta, a ten-year-old girl from the lower caste Yellamma cult of temple prostitutes has come of age to fulfill her destiny of becoming a temple prostitute. In an attempt to escape this legacy that binds her, Mukta is transported to a foster family in Bombay. There she discovers a friend in the high spirited eight-year-old Tara, the tomboyish daughter of the family, who helps her recover from the wounds of her past. Tara introduces Mukta to a different world—ice cream and sweets, poems and stories, and a friendship the likes of which she has never experienced before. In 1993, Mukta is kidnapped from Tara’s room. Eleven years later, Tara who blames herself for what happened, embarks on an emotional journey to search for the kidnapped Mukta only to uncover long buried secrets in her own family. Moving from a remote village in India to the bustling metropolis of Bombay, to Los Angeles and back again, amidst the brutal world of human trafficking, this is a heartbreaking and beautiful portrait of an unlikely friendship—a story of love, betrayal, and redemption—which ultimately withstands the true test of time.

(retrieved from Amazon Wed, 01 Jul 2015 15:57:02 -0400)

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