Behind the Beautiful Forevers

Behind the Beautiful Forevers

by Katherine Boo

Ricki Brodie (05/10/13): Reading this book, I would have sworn it was fiction; I would have hoped it was fiction. The author take you to the hopefully worst slum in Mumbai where people live in crumbling cardboard shacks with raw sewage everywhere eking out a meager existence.

Corruption is rampant and yet we see their dreams to get ahead. One boy savages metal scraps and sleeps with then in the garage to protect his assets. There is a woman who wants to have a political career and takes and pays graft to get ahead. Her daughter teaches the slum children and has aspirations to go to college. There is a one-legged hag who prostitutes herself. They do what they have to do to survive. This is all juxtaposed to living across the road from a luxory hotel.

The author did three years of research to write the book and she wrote it in the third person. It was their story not hers that was paramount. While the book portrays life in its ugliness you are sucked into it and say thanks but for the grace of God go I.
Rating: *****

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