December 7, 2011

Valmiki's Daughter - Book Review

Valmiki's Daughter by Shani Mootoo, set in Trinidad, revolving around a family of four, their sexual preferences and the society they move in. The book is written in the voices of all the characters and there is also a fair bit of third person narrative in it. Hence a good blend of style.

The story weaves seamlessly, the past and present, emotions and culture. It moves through the relationships between father - daughter, mother - daughter, sisters and also the couple. The plot is mostly of the emotions which Viveka, Valmiki's Daughter experiences as she realizes her sexual preference for women over men. She is not worried about it, but she does know the plight of such women in the society and how it will affect her family. She knows that her parents might not agree to her likes, as they are shown to be through the book, but moreover she herself also is unsure whether she will have the courage to step up and take her stand for her wish. Through this there is the hidden preference of Valmiki himself, which is camouflaged in the screen of a womanizer.

The book portrays how society rules one's lives and how it is mandatory in smaller societies to ensure that the likes and dislikes are guarded heavily lest they become the topic of all conversations. It also shows how those who want, still goes ahead and cater to their likes, but with the knowledge of how to go about it and to not cause a scandal.

This is a book which I picked up at JustBooks over a month back but just never got down to reading it. Just been busy, I guess. Once I did pick it up, I was done in a matter of days. Its beautifully written, emotions played out and thoughts detailed. It does set you thinking.



  1. hmmm :) I guess worth a shot then .. will check it out sometime


  2. Interesting. Thanks for the review :)


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