Wednesday, April 20, 2011


Brilliant and poignant. Set in contemporary India, two women's lives cross and re-cross in ways they don't find out until later. Ties of gender overruled, in the end, by class lines. Beautifully done.

Elizabeth Brundage, THE DOCTOR'S WIFE

What's interesting is EB puts the ending first ... the doctor is almost murdered and thrown into a basement. The rest of the book is finding out how he ended up there. My only gripes (and they're minor) are: (1) there is no nuance to the representation of the pro-lifers ... they pretty much all come off as complete whack-jobs (I'm pro-choice); (2) at the end, after she's made some astoundingly bad choices, the doctor's wife pretty much gets off scot-free. However, it's harrowing, dark, and a compelling page-turner ... I'd buy another by her ... but right now I am feeling in need of a very lite joke book.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011


Nothing to do with Tiger Moms! A beautiful, lyrical book, equal parts raw experience and magic. Natalia, a doctor, bravely crosses a new border in a war-torn countryside to bring desperately-needed vaccines to an orphanage; but to find her grandfather who recently died, she must listen to stories of a deathless man who gambles with her grandfather for a copy of The Jungle Book, and a tiger that was tamed by a deaf-mute and then chewed its own legs off. I found myself unevenly engaged--some parts were more compelling than others--but it's a very good debut novel by a writer who is only 25 (and looks about 16, by her picture).