September 29, 2009

A Disobedient Girl by Ru Freeman

BOOK #: 72
REASONS READ: Sent to me for review; 21 Cultures Challenge
PUBLISHER: Atria Books
GENRE: Fiction; Women's Fiction
RATING: 4.5/5 Stars

BOOK SUMMARY: A Disobedient Girl is a compelling exploration of personal desire set against the volatile backdrop of class and prejudice, as three women journey toward their future, united by a shared history but separated by different fates. A bold and deeply moving account that spans three decades of love and loss, it is a tale about the will to survive and the incredible power of the human spirit to transcend the unforgiving sweep of tragedy.

FAVORITE PARTS: This was an incredibly moving book. The book seemed a little slow and jarring to start but I got used to going back and forth between the two stories being told. I liked the way it all came full circle and you were shown how the two stories were linked. I thought I had it figured out, but I was mistaken about the exact connection. I really liked how both Biso and Latha were each afraid and it seemed like the world was against them but they persevered. They were not flaky or prissy but strong, determined, and courageous.

MORE SINHALA: I loved Freeman's use of the Sri Lankan language Sinhala throughout the book. There were many Sinhala words and phrases such as Poddack inna, kiri-hodi, sambol, and aanam aalu, dispersed through the stories and I loved that. I do wish I knew what more of them meant, though. I was able to ask Freeman about a couple of them but I would like to have had possibly a glossary of terms in the back of the book.

When I reach our compartment, the children look up at me, eyes expectant. I shrug my shoulders and feel a keen twinge in my heart at their crestfallen faces. Still, I won't go back.

Who would have thought that a house with such bitterness hid so many spaces that could generate euphoria in the minds and bodies of two people?

They had told her that nobody would ever want her again. That's what happened to little ___ like her, Mrs. Vithanage had said. She had said it calmly and without acrimony, so it had sounded true.

She walked over to the mirrors and stared at herself. She was grown up, but who was she? She turned to the first mirror: a mother with no daughter? The second mirror: a daughter with no mother? The last: a woman with no man?

Be sure to check out Ru Freeman's guest post on growing up Sri Lankan.
Also be sure to check out the other blog stops on Ru Freeman's Blog Tour here.


  1. This is another ARC that's on my pile.

    Great review.

  2. I need to pick this one up again. The slow start put me off and I've been reading other things. I'm glad to hear it picks up, and I should give it another try.

  3. It was slow to start...I actually put it down for a few weeks when I got sidetracked with other books. But Biso's story kept me engaged after I picked it back up.

  4. I keep reading great reviews of this book, so I'd really like to read it.

  5. What a nice review! Thanks so much for the time spent reading and reviewing A Disobedient Girl. It is very much appreciated.


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