Wednesday, 4 April 2018

Book Review: Rao's Guide To Lime Pickling



I didn't think I would write book reviews when I started out this blog. I thought it was strictly going to be fashion and beauty. But as I branch out more into lifestyle and write posts that have more depth to me than just what I'm wearing, I thought why not write reviews or use my lifestyle area to talk about whatever it is in my life right now that I want to recommend and share. 

So, here's my first book review. More of a recommendation that a review. 

And what makes it all the more special is that this book is written by a best friend - well more like a sister. 

"Rao's Guide To Lime Pickling" is the debut novella from Sandali, a young mathematician-economist-writer-wannabe filmmaker. (And yes I can vouch for the fact that all these statements are indeed true).  Originally written as a thesis for university, the story tells of the Sri Lankan Civil War through the eyes of a young boy named Siva, who must navigate growing up through a time of great turmoil between the Tamil and Sinhalese. 

This is a topic that I had never read about nor did I really know too much detail on. As a Sri Lankan, I kick myself for not knowing enough but this book intrigued me to dig deeper and dive into my culture more. 

Siva's story begins when he is just 5 years old in Jaffna, 1995, when his family must be uprooted from home to try and escape the war. He's taken to his uncle's house where he meets his cousin Kumar, whom then soon become brothers and live like children should playing pranks with their neighbour Sita. One day, one of their planned pranks on the ice cream man goes wrong and Siva, quite literally, falls into the arms of the green-eyed young man, Rao, who quickly becomes Siva's mentor. The civil war becomes a topic that pushes all the characters together, whilst also tearing them apart and making them realise what is important, as well as who is important. 

Though the piece is historical fiction, it's more than that. It opens a whole thought process in your mind as to how we think and perceive things. There's just this awakening of high high we think of others and how they guide us in our lives, and then how that in turn teachers us about ourselves. Rao's Guide taught be about the reality of hindsight- not seeing or understanding why something is happening in that moment, but as time passes realising the importance of that single event and how it shaped you.

I said the same thing in my GoodReads review and to Sandali herself because that's just what I took from the book. It's how I felt. And apparently I was on the right track. And I don't think that feeling is limited to just the Sri Lankans who read this. I think it's a feeling that anyone can take away from this book - that people can shape us more than we understand or realise. That events in our lives may not be significant in the moment, but will later be some of the most treasured. 

Now you might think I'm saying all these nice things because it's my friend who wrote. But I'm not. The fact of the matter is that this is a beautiful book about love, friendship and struggle. 

I highly recommend this to everyone. It's worth the read. It's perfect for travelling or if you're wanting to learn about Sri Lanka, or if you just need a little break from your hectic work life. The 182 page turner is recommended by the author in a one-sit reading and I agree that's the way it should be done. 

You can purchase the book in Sri Lanka at Barefoot on Galle Road, or even on Amazon (also available on Kindle).

(I'm such a proud mum no lie). 

Support your local girl gang always and girl gangs everywhere - so have a read, you won't regret it. 

P.s: I've started a GoodReads profile (Sandali made me do it) and I'm going to be documenting all the books I read, so if you're looking for recommendations or you want to recommend me any, please do! I'm planning to read a few blog-oriented works soon to inspire me and teach me more about the blogging world and the best ways to tackle it, so stay tuned!

Lots of Love, 

Emily xx


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