Saturday, July 4, 2015

Flame Tree Road - Shona Patel

Flame Tree Road
Shona Patel
Mira, Jun 30 2015, $14.95
ISBN: 9780778316657

In 1870s East Bengal, India young Biren Roy grieves the death of his father.  However, even more shocking to Biren is to observe the pariah treatment by previously loving family towards his mom for the crime of widowhood.  He vows to change this insane outcast custom.

Biren goes to England to study law and while there joins the women’s suffrage movement.  Eventually he returns to India with a goal to fight for women’s rights starting with education.  Though he feels he climbs Everest in winter and several times is ready to give up on what seems a helpless cause, his beloved Maya keeps him fighting for what each knows is right.

Occurring decades before his descendant’s 1940s Teatime for the Firefly drama, idealistic Biren’s battle to change the Caste System turns this into an excellent Victorian.  His efforts come at a high cost to him and Maya; as community and family ostracize them; but with his beloved’s encouraging him, Biren continues “To dream the impossible dream; … To right the unrightable wrong” (Man of La Mancha - "The Impossible Dream (The Quest)".

Harriet Klausner

No comments: