First off, some good news. A representative from Hachette Book Group has agreed to do a giveaway of The Heretic's Daughter here on my blog - and there will be more than one copy! I will be posting the giveaway in early September, so be sure to come back then. (See below for my review.)
Next, a review, only one, though writing 'reviews' in the title sounded better, I think.
Asha Miro was born in India and adopted by a Spanish couple when she was around seven years old. This made Asha fortunate in many fairly obvious ways - her health improved, she was educated and given every opportunity to discover what it was she wanted out of life. The only thing that was missing for Asha was finding out where she had come from and how she came to be in an Indian orphanage.
Her book, Daughter of the Ganges, is really made up of two books she wrote about her experiences traveling to India in 1995 and again in 2003. In the first part of the book Asha travels with a volunteer agency, which gave her a reason to be in India, the opportunity to get to know India better, and some time to research her past. Asha finds herself at the orphanage she lived in while in Bombay and is able to visit with nuns that cared for her at that time. In the second part of the book, Asha returns to India to film a documentary. She has found that some of the people who cared for her as a child do not agree with her interpretation of events as set forth in her book. Asha wants to know the truth, so she visits both orphanages she lived in again. Through a series of events, Asha discovers a gift - that she has an older sister who is alive.
Daughter of the Ganges is written very simply, but is still very powerful. Asha writes that she wants people to be able to be more open about adoption, part of her reason for writing this book . Asha's prose is beautifully complimented in the first section of the book by pages out of her mother's diary, written during the adoption process, and after Asha joined the family. The second part of the book is quite joyful, with Asha meeting people related to her by blood for the first time. She is moved by how difficult their lives are, and is remarkably honest about her feelings, remarking that she cannot imagine living this way, knowing what she does about the world and its opportunities. While Asha is Indian by birth, she knows she is truly European in her behavior and attitudes toward life.
I came across this title when I was in my India phase earlier this year. It is certainly an interesting perspective of India, but also meaningful in its portrayal of adoption, from an adoptee's and her parent's point of view.
And finally, for the menu. My husband has invited some people over for dinner tomorrow and as is his way, is not very clear about how many people there are or when they are coming. Hmmmmm. Here is what I am planning on serving:
Veggies with homemade hummus
Assorted grilled sausages
The potato/green bean/tomato dish I made last week (see below)
A salad (hopefully someone brings this)
What do you think?