Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Book Review and GIVEAWAY: A House is a Body, by Shruti Swami {ends 8/19}

Guest review by: Becki Bayley

From ”My Brother at the Station”

What do the dead really look like?

Every month the moon grows bigger and bigger, and yesterday I saw it hanging ripe and hard as an apple in the black. I cannot imagine. Just before my brother and the woman went into that building, he turned. He turned to look at me. He opened the door and turned to me and I think he smiled.

Looking at me—or past me? I think of this moment so often. I imagine the life nested luminous inside me, he could have seen that, like he could see the faces of the dead. He could have seen a bald woman with red eyes. A stranger, or a sister, or nothing at all.

The short stories in this collection brought the author’s appreciation and memories of India vividly to life.

Official synopsis:
Book Review: A House is a Body, by Shruti Swami
Dreams collide with reality, modernity with antiquity, and myth with identity in the twelve arresting stories of A House Is a Body. In “Earthly Pleasures,” a young painter living alone in San Francisco begins a secret romance with one of India’s biggest celebrities, and desire and ego are laid bare. In “A Simple Composition,” a husband’s professional crisis leads to his wife’s discovery of a dark, ecstatic joy. And in the title story, an exhausted mother watches, hypnotized by fear, as a California wildfire approaches her home. Immersive and assured, provocative and probing, these are stories written with the edge and precision of a knife blade. Set in the United States and India, they reveal small but intense moments of beauty, pain, and power that contain the world.

The beautiful use of language in these stories made them so compelling to read. No two stories were similar. They told of memories from childhood, marriage, motherhood, and love. Most of the stories took place in India. Those that did not talked of memories from India. The nostalgia was touching and descriptive.

Of the twelve stories in the collection, “My Brother at the Station,” in which the narrator discusses memories of her brother from childhood into adulthood, and “Wedding Season,” with two females lovers trying to fit in around a family’s traditional Indian wedding, both stood out as most memorable. That was a hard distinction to make, and many of the stories left an impression.

Overall, I’d give this short story collection 4 out of 5 stars. The word choices were powerful and evocative. I’d recommend these stories to adults who enjoy Indian stories and literary fiction.

{click here to purchase - only $9.99 for Kindle!}

Becki Bayley likes quiet, giving her kitties struggle snuggles, lying on the hammock, and the color orange. Find more of her book reviews but nothing too personal at SweetlyBSquared.com.

GIVEAWAY:

One of my lucky readers will win a galley copy of A House is a Body!

Enter via the widget below. Giveaway will end on Wednesday, August 19th, at 11:59pm EST, and winner will be notified the next day, and have 24 hours to respond, or an alternate winner will be chosen.

U.S. residents only, please.

Good luck!

A House is a Body, by Shruti Swami

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