corner corner and then there were three...

Medium

and then there were three...
by Supriya Bhatnagar | Biographies & Memoirs
Registered by wingKateKintailwing of Burke, Virginia USA on 1/29/2011
Average 8 star rating by BookCrossing Members 

status (set by 6of8): travelling


This book is in a Controlled Release! This book is in a Controlled Release!

6 journalers for this copy...

Journal Entry 1 by wingKateKintailwing from Burke, Virginia USA on Saturday, January 29, 2011

10 out of 10

Full disclosure: the memoirist is my boss and I scanned in the photo that became the cover image :-) If she weren't my boss, I might not have read this book because I don't read a lot of memoirs. But I was honored to receive a copy of this book when she got it published and even happier that the book did not disappoint me one bit.

I started reading it while waiting in the waiting room of my doctor's office one morning and started crying. I knew the general theme of the book and how it centered around Supriya's life after she lost her father. But I wasn't prepared for it to hit so soon and so suddenly... though I suppose that's how life is.

I found this to be a very honest look at a very emotional subject, but also a marvelous look at someone's life and thoughts. I also really liked how easy it was to jump into her experiences, the culture of various places in India, her family, and her life. It's a journey that was easy to go on, rich with detail and packed with feeling.

I bought a copy of this book and am very much hoping to turn it into a bookring here.

Bookring order:
LittleWhiteBird
authorauthor
melydia 


Journal Entry 2 by wingKateKintailwing at Arlington, Virginia USA on Saturday, January 29, 2011

This book has not been rated.

Released 6 yrs ago (1/29/2011 UTC) at Arlington, Virginia USA

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

Taking to a BCinDC meetup.
 


Journal Entry 3 by LittleWhiteBird at Arlington, Virginia USA on Saturday, January 29, 2011

This book has not been rated.

I signed up to be the first person in the bookring right there at the BCinDC meetup, so KateKintail gave it to me first. I'll read the book soon (after the book I'm reading at the moment and one after that) and hope to hear soon where it's going to go next. 


Journal Entry 4 by LittleWhiteBird at Arlington, Virginia USA on Friday, February 18, 2011

8 out of 10

They're a family of father, mother, and two daughters. The major life changing event is when the father dies unexpectedly when the older girl is ten years old. The mother has to make all the important decisions by herself now, and the family has to relocate to a different city. The book mostly describes the life of the family when the older daughter is in her teens, written from that daughter's perspective.

What makes the book interesting is to read about all the little (and maybe not so little) things in life. The kinds of decisions and events that every family goes through and seeing how they deal with them. To see how these things may be a bit different from what we're used to because the family lives in India.

What surprised me was how little impact the caste system, political events, economic changes etc. had in their lives. I had read A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry a while ago and the India described there is so different (the two books overlap in the time frame they describe). I realize that A Fine Balance is fiction and And Then There Were Three is non-fiction, but not all the differences can be explained by that. I'd like to find out more about how those two different worlds in the same country fit together.

I see that authorauthor is the next person in the bookring, so I'll contact her now and see how I can get the book to her. 


Journal Entry 5 by LittleWhiteBird at -- BookRing, -- By post or by hand/ in person -- USA on Saturday, February 26, 2011

This book has not been rated.

Released 6 yrs ago (2/26/2011 UTC) at -- BookRing, -- By post or by hand/ in person -- USA

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

I gave the book personally to authorauthor, the next person in the bookring at the beginning of our BC in DC meeting which was a Museum Hopper activity in D.C. this time. 


Journal Entry 6 by authorauthor at Alexandria, Virginia USA on Monday, February 28, 2011

This book has not been rated.

Received this one from LittleWhiteBird as part of the BookRing. 


Journal Entry 7 by authorauthor at Washington, District of Columbia USA on Sunday, March 20, 2011

9 out of 10

I had low expectations for this book. I was afraid it was going to be another one of those "look what an awful childhood I had" type memoirs that are so popular now and that usually keep me from reading memoirs. I was pleasantly surprised.

Yes, tragedy strikes. The author is 9 years old when her father dies, leaving the family devastated by the loss. While his death colors everything else that happens, this isn't a story of how the tragedy destroys her life; it's a story of how a grief-stricken family starts over and reinvents itself. Supriya's mother makes the difficult choice to embrace her independence rather than leaning on relatives, and that choice, as much as the loss of their father, shapes her daughters' futures. The author is unflinchingly candid about her emotional journey and her mother's.

If this book were one of those cheesy bestselling memoirs put out by a major publisher, the mother would have turned to prostitution, the little sister would have become a drug addict, and the narrator would have discovered that her father had been living some sordid secret life on the side! And that is why I don't usually read memoirs. This isn't a huge, dramatic kind of book. It's filled with a lot of the little dramas of family life, with normal interactions that make Supriya and her family come to life for the reader.

I was also interested in the fact that the book is set in India and is rich in atmospheric details. I noticed LittleWhiteBird's comment about the caste system. It never occurred to me that caste might play a part here. But my experience with India is mostly through my father's eyes. He has spent a lot of time there and says the key to rising through society in modern India is not caste; it's education. I imagine it's easier to get a good education if you're Brahmin, but anyone who can manage to get educated can move up. This book is about an educated family, so I wasn't surprised that caste was barely mentioned. I also suspect that caste means a lot more in rural India than it does in the cities, and more in some regions of the country than in others.

I would highly recommend this book!
 


Journal Entry 8 by authorauthor at National Harbor, Maryland USA on Sunday, March 20, 2011

This book has not been rated.

Released 6 yrs ago (3/20/2011 UTC) at National Harbor, Maryland USA

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

Nobody else is listed on the Bookring, so I'll just bring this to the BC meetup today and see who wants it next. 


Journal Entry 9 by melydia at -- Geocaches, Virginia USA on Sunday, March 20, 2011

This book has not been rated.

I picked up this book at today's BCinDC meetup. Looking forward to reading it - thanks! 


Journal Entry 10 by melydia at -- Geocaches, Virginia USA on Friday, August 24, 2012

This book has not been rated.

This brief memoir details Bhatnagar's childhood experiences with the death of her father in 1970s India. Since Bhatnagar now lives in America, she took time to point out little differences in daily life between the two countries. These parts I found most fascinating. Her family's grief was touching and sad, but honestly I was more interested in her experiences growing up with a single mother who starts her own school. Even better, I got to bring up some of the stuff from this book, such as the "desert coolers", with my Indian coworker, who'd had similar experiences growing up in Hyderabad. I loved the real personal feeling of the narration, like I was having a conversation ith the author rather than reading her book. I hope to read more by her someday. 


Journal Entry 11 by melydia at -- Geocaches, Virginia USA on Saturday, August 25, 2012

This book has not been rated.

Taking this to today's BCinDC meetup at Tynan Coffee and Tea in Washington, DC, where I hope to pass it along to the next ring participant. 


Journal Entry 12 by ResQgeek at Alexandria, Virginia USA on Sunday, December 23, 2012

This book has not been rated.

I brought this book home from the annual BC-in-DC holiday party. 


Journal Entry 13 by ResQgeek at Bethesda, Maryland USA on Sunday, January 11, 2015

This book has not been rated.

Released 2 yrs ago (1/11/2015 UTC) at Bethesda, Maryland USA

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

I've decided that it is unlikely that this book is likely to rise to the top of the TBR pile anytime soon. Rather than letting it continue to collect dust here, I'm passing it along for someone else. This will be available at today's BC-in-DC meeting in Bethesda. 


Journal Entry 14 by wing6of8wing at Bethesda, Maryland USA on Sunday, January 11, 2015

This book has not been rated.

KateKintail saw my hand in the vicinity of this book at meet-up and she hastened to let me know it was a really good book written by her boss. After ascertaining that she did not mean Mr. Clueless, the big boss, I thought it would be worth taking a chance on. It is a small book, so maybe it won't languish on Mt. TBR too long. Plus there is a post-it note inside the front cover which says it is part of a bookring, kind of on a join as you get it basis. 


Journal Entry 15 by wing6of8wing at Silver Spring, Maryland USA on Wednesday, March 04, 2015

8 out of 10

I enjoyed this short collection of memories of the author's life in India, mostly centered around the death of her father when she was 10 and the long-term impact on her family. I was a little leery of reading it at the same time I am reading Salman Rushdie -- afraid it might be too much India -- but I found that it actually enhanced the experience. While it was still a different culture, it was not as foreign to my mind as it might have seemed otherwise.

The author's emotions at the loss of her father were very familiar to me, although I was considerably older when I lost my father. The amazing strength of her mother in starting a new life on her own as a young widow and finding a way to raise her daughters would have been inspiring in any circumstances. But with the background of India where females are still undervalued at best and in the face of the overwhelming amount of grief she felt, Tara was even more incredible. I enjoyed this look at a different way of life and the reinforcement of my sense of identification across cultural lines.

I would have appreciated a glossary of Indian terms at various points, although the meaning was discernible from the context. I would enjoy reading more of her memories or other writings.  


Journal Entry 16 by wing6of8wing at -- Mail or by hand-rings, RABCK, meetings, etc, Virginia USA on Monday, March 23, 2015

This book has not been rated.

Released 2 yrs ago (3/22/2015 UTC) at -- Mail or by hand-rings, RABCK, meetings, etc, Virginia USA

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

"A book is a mysterious object, I said, and once it floats out into the world, anything can happen. All kinds of mischief can be caused, and there's not a damned thing you can do about it. For better or worse, it's completely out of your control." -- Paul Auster

I took this little book with me to the meet-up at La Madeleine yesterday. I think it was Ixion who was persuaded to take it home. 


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