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The Sleepwalker's Guide to Dancing by Mira…

The Sleepwalker's Guide to Dancing

by Mira Jacob

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4538835,778 (4.03)53
"Brain surgeon Thomas Eapen's decision to shorten his visit to his mother's home in India has consequences that reverberate two decades later as he starts conversing with the dead and daughter Amina must sort through the family's past to help him."--
  1. 02
    I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith (charl08)
    charl08: Both novels include a young female protagonist who is charismatic, surrounded by interesting characters and loving books. And both are funny.

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» See also 53 mentions

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Story of a family that have to come to terms with the death of a much loved son and brother. Family dynamics ae complicated and everyone dealt with the tragedy in their own way. When the patriarch of the family devellops a brain tumor, emotions resurface. ( )
  janismack | Sep 9, 2019 |
"What it means, as an immigrant, to make a life in a stolen country."

The Sleepwalker's Guide to Dancing is as much a story of a family away from home as it is a story of a home away from it's inhabitants. It would be unfair to divulge in the story as it would mean taking away from the delicious reading experience that this book has to offer. Various themes of belonging, longing, cultural differences, sorrow, love, teenage rebellion come together in play mixing up humorous, goofy, tragic, paranormal tones as the story of an immigrant family takes shape while flowing from Salem to Seattle to Albuquerque. Somewhere at the very start of the book, the characters connect with the reader almost instantly never of letting go through out the book.

Mira Jacob does a fabulous job with her characters. Her 10 years that went in writing this book seem to have paid off in form of effortless language and fictional events, characters that feel real.

An engaging read... ( )
  hummingquill | Jul 24, 2019 |
In-depth, layered, engaging novel about a bereaved family that conveys a wide range of emotion without being cliched or saccharine. The dialogue is particularly strong, and the writer's switching between present and past events keeps the interest level high. The relationships between the family members and extended family-like nature of the immigrant community in the novel are very well portrayed. ( )
  Erratic_Charmer | Mar 24, 2019 |
A diasporic novel about an Indian family and their loss.

For a complete review please click on the link below:

http://onerightword.blogspot.co.uk/2017/05/the-sleepwalkers-guide-to-dancing-mir... ( )
  ashkrishwrites | Aug 29, 2018 |
Very mixed feelings. I settled on reading this book for my long plane ride. Unfortunately by the time I got to it was during an early morning flight where I was already tired and there was free in-flight movies to watch. I chose the free movies instead, feeling like I would need more energy to devote to this.
And I was right. Mira Jacob's debut is a story of a family, following the paths of her brother Akhil and the "present day" (1998) family. We jump back and forth through time, looking at the family through these snippets of time as Jacob weaves the past and present versions of this family together...or not so much. Daughter Amina is left to sort out issues of the present, as well as putting together the threads of the past.  I don't want to give away too much, but I will say she did a good job of making these time jumps without it getting too confusing or having too many viewpoints.
At first, I was hooked. An immigrant family in the US during the 80's/90's? Considering the current events of 2015, it might not seem like it's not topical, but it's still worth a read as the Eapens could easily be a family you might know. And I enjoyed the portraits Jacob drew of each member of the Eapen family, their relatives and friends. I'd get lost among some of the more tertiary characters, but that's also not surprising given the size of immigrant family/friends, circles, etc.
But as the book went on, it started feeling a little too long. Amina has a romance later in the book that seems a bit out of nowhere and just thrown in just because. Some of the details are excruciatingly drawn out and it seems like nothing happens for long periods of time. I actually felt the book ended with the storyline of her brother and the "present day" one felt tacked on after that.
It could be just me, although based on other reviews I'm not alone in how I feel. I'll admit that there are a lot of aspects to the book that really hit home for me, in arguably painful ways. I wouldn't say I was looking for answers from the book, but ultimately the text peters out when it could and should have wrapped up in less time and pages.
Still, as a debut I thought there's a lot going for the book and the author is certainly worth following. I'll keep an eye out for her next book. As for this I'd recommend a library or bargain buy for a long plane ride or a cold and snowy/rainy wintry day. ( )
  acciolibros | Feb 11, 2018 |
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