As Sweet as Honey

Indira Ganesan, Author
Indira Ganesan. Knopf, $25.95 (304p) ISBN 978-0-307-96044-3
Open Ebook - 190 pages - 978-0-307-96045-0
Open Ebook - 1 pages - 978-1-299-08873-3
Paperback - 273 pages - 978-0-307-95061-1
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In her third novel (after Inheritance), Ganesan returns to the island of Pi in the Indian Ocean, "the tiniest crescent-shaped bindi above the eyebrows to Sri Lanka's tear." Mina, now grown, tells the childhood story of her Aunt Meterling's unlikely marriage to a stout Englishman named Archer; that she was tall and he short was only the beginning of their differences. Vows were barely exchanged—she in a sari, he in a white suit—before the groom dropped dead. Amid her grief, Meterling discovered she was pregnant, a joyful, but problematic turn in her world of tradition. At the time, young Mina and her cousins barely understood the domestic drama unfolding before them; every overheard word was a puzzle. Meterling inherits Archer's fields and fortune in England, but is unfit to visit them when beckoned by Archer's distant cousin Simon. Instead, he comes to her and soon falls in love with his cousin's former bride. Ganesan spins the lush magic of island life out into the real world. Repercussions of colonialism echo for generations, but the women of Pi find opportunity in the tumult. In this enclosed world, Meterling was the first to dream a different life and her story inspires Mina's intimate retelling. (Feb.)
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