Wednesday, March 24, 2010
The Weight of Heaven by Thrity Umrigar
Frank and Ellie are an American couple. Their seven year old son Benny recently died suddenly of meningococcemia, and they are trying to deal with this terrible loss.
They move to a small town in India, where Frank gets a managing position at the company HerbalSolutions. Ellie soon adjusts to her new home, and she soon helping out in the village, teaching school and counseling women.
But problems are coming up soon:Franks company owns the factory that has leased the village’s trees from the Indian government and has prohibited the villagers from accessing what had been a source of medicine, shelter, and income for generations.
Frank and in a lesser way Ellie become the point of the angry and violence of the people in the village that are suffering from this.
They also try to help the son(Ramesh) of their servants, Edna and Prakash. They want to take Ramesh to America, but Prakash is a abusive father for Ramesh and an abusive husband for Edna.
The story of The Weight of Heaven was set up well. It was a bit hard to come into, especially because of the changes in time during the chapters. Sudden chapters where in retrospective, other where set in the present time.
The story really was at its best in the last part, where everything in the story came together in a really tragic cliffhanger.
I recommend this book to everyone who is interested in books set in India, because the author besides the story gives a good view about the life in India.