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Sleeping On Jupiter by Anuradha Roy
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Sleeping On Jupiter (2015)

by Anuradha Roy

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1467116,865 (3.41)64

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Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
This is one of those beautifully written books that I'm going to totally forget about six months from now. The writing is lovely, I'm all about books set in India, everything about it is just fine, but nothing really stood out as special to me. ( )
  GaylaBassham | May 27, 2018 |
I just could not 'get' the story here. Writer seemed very condescending to mothers and older people ( who happened to be 60) presenting them as feeble minded and out of touch. And condescending to tour guides and young wayward men as well. Perhaps she identified with the one of the main characters-- a bold filmmaker...but that character felt thin and cardboard-like. Lots of spelling errors in the book, too. Makes me think the editor didn't pay much attention to the writer's text and storyline and that the staff didn't have the eyes to catch errors ( )
  authorknows | Apr 3, 2017 |
This is one of those beautifully written books that I'm going to totally forget about six months from now. The writing is lovely, I'm all about books set in India, everything about it is just fine, but nothing really stood out as special to me. ( )
  gayla.bassham | Nov 7, 2016 |
This short, beautifully written, sometimes heartbreaking novel kept calling me back, and I'm in awe of the author's ability to create create living breathing characters and evoke Indian settings and culture such that I almost feel like I've visited the subcontinent myself. I'm not surprised that the book was long listed for the Booker Prize.

As the book opens as Nomi, a documentary filmmaker who experienced a series of personal tragedies as a child, and three older women, all longtime friends, are sharing a train car while traveling to Jarmuli, a temple filled town by the sea. Intense and vivid, the story takes us into Nomi's past and follows the lives of several other characters who Nomi and the three friends encounter.

Though Sleeping on Jupiter is short enough that it could be read quickly I didn't want to rush through it. The story is too rich. I'd read one section, then put the book down for a while to give myself time to absorb it. ( )
  Jaylia3 | Jul 30, 2016 |
I need some time to think about this book before writing up my review. There were many wonderful things about it -- the writing was strong, the storyline was interesting, etc. But the ending drove me crazy. I don't need to have all my ends wrapped up in nice little neat resolutions (I love Murakami for instance so clearly I'm okay with ambiguous ending) but in the case of this book, it seemed to just end leaving everything open. ( )
  JenPrim | Jan 15, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
The themes of innocence stolen, the refuge of the imagination, and the inclination to look away are handled with sensitivity and subtlety in some of the best prose of recent years encountered by this reader. Roy brings a painterly eye, her choice of detail bringing scenes to sensual life, while eschewing floridness: a masterclass rather in the art of restraint, the pared-back style enabling violence close to the surface to glint of its own accord.....An important contribution to an essential debate, Anuradha Roy's poetic work of luminous prose deserves a wide readership in India and beyond.
 
Roy’s chiselled prose allows her to expose the endless, treacherous hypocrisies of Indian society: ...As in her previous novels, An Atlas of Impossible Longing and The Folded Earth, Roy viscerally captures atmosphere: a train sways and moves faster, “as if lighter from shedding the girl”;....India is evoked in the ginger and crushed cloves of a seaside tea-stall, the poetry of Jibanananda Das, the scent of grapefruit and above all, in the shame of speaking about sexual violence. There are allusions to the Mahabharata – the Indian epic where good triumphs over evil – but what emerges in Sleeping on Jupiter is the story of entrenched evil, an evil against women and children that cannot be challenged, only escaped...

Roy’s narrative raises many burning questions.
 
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Epigraph
"Would a circling surface vulture
  know such depths of sky
  as the moon would know?"

AKKA MAHADEVI, 12th century
Dedication
for three beloved tyrants

Biscoot
Rukun
Christopher
First words
The year the war came closer I was six or seven and it did not matter to me.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Book description
A train stops at a railway station. A young woman jumps off. She has wild hair, sloppy clothes, a distracted air. She looks Indian, yuet she is somehow not. The sudden violence of what happens next leaves the other passengers gasping.

The train terminates at Jarmuli, a temple town by the sea. Here, among pilgrims, priests and ashrams, three old women disembark only to encounter the girl once again. What was someone like her doing in this remote corner, which attracts only worshippers?

Over the next five days, the old women live out their long planned dream of a holiday together; their temple guide finds ecstasy in forbidden love; and the girl is joined by a photographer battling his own demons.

The full force of the evil and violence beneath the serene surface of the town becomes evident when their lives overlap and collide. Unexpected connections are revealed between devotion and violence, friendship and fear, as Jarmuli is revealed as a place with a long, dark pat that transforms all who encounter it.
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0857053477, Paperback)

Jarmuli: a city of temples, a centre of healing on the edge of the ocean. Nomi, a young girl, is taken from her family and finds herself in an ashram, overseen by a charismatic guru. But Guruji's charm masks a predatory menace, and the young girl faces danger beyond her understanding. Twenty years later, Nomi returns to Jarmuli with a documentary film crew. All has changed in a town that she no longer knows, as tourists and market traders bustle, banter and chase their dreams amidst the temples of her youth. Seeking the truth about what happened to her and her family, Nomi finds herself chasing shadows in a town that has reinvented itself. But when she returns to the ashram that haunts her dreams, she discovers some scars cannot be washed away.

(retrieved from Amazon Wed, 29 Jul 2015 07:24:31 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

"On a train bound for the seaside town of Jarmuli, three women in their sixties witness an assault on a young documentary filmmaker named Nomi. The women are disturbed, but shrug off the encounter. Among Jarmuli's pilgrims, priests, and temples, the three women live out their long-planned holiday together, while Nomi searches for clues to her past in a local ashram. As their lives overlap and collide, the town's serene surface is punctured by violence as its long, dark history becomes impossible to ignore"--Page 4 of cover.… (more)

» see all 3 descriptions

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