The Age of Shiva

The Age of Shiva

by Manil Suri

Arlene Almas: Manil Suri's book begins in India in 1955 when we first meet Meera as a teenager, and goes on to give us the real-life day-to-day details of her life. She develops an obsession with her older sister's boyfriend, Dev, and does, in fact, marry him; the narrative takes off from there and becomes primarily the story of Meera and their son, Ashvin. The author shows us every aspect of Meera's life in two cities, Delhi and Bombay, and the small community where she first lives with Dev and his family. We get to know all the members of Meera's and Dev's families, and the neighbors Meera befriends in Bombay - all these characters are fully realized and vital to the progress of Meera's life. We also become familiar with the politics of India in its post-Partition (separation from Pakistan) years. Meera's path is not an easy one, but the overpowering love she feels for her son Ashvin sustains her through all her life's vicissitudes. I enjoyed getting to know Meera very intimately and following her captivating story.
Rating: ****

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