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Book Review: Shiva's Arms by Cheryl Snell

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The Allison Show: Book Review: Shiva's Arms by Cheryl Snell

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Thursday, July 1

Book Review: Shiva's Arms by Cheryl Snell

Title: Shiva'sArms
Author: Cheryl Snell
Publisher: The Writer's Lair Books 
Published: March 27, 2010
ISBN: 978-0615340814
Summary: "Is there a happy medium between Hindu tradition and American style, or does the battle of wills between a mother and daughter-in law for the love of the man caught in the middle trump all else? When Alice marries Ramesh, she is plunged into a battle of wills with her mother-in-law. Amma wreaks havoc over Alice's household until a family secret is revealed that costs the old woman everything. Now it is up to Alice to heal the rift. Shiva's Arms evolves into an exploration of cultural identity, the power of reconciliation, and the meaning of home."

This was a very good book.  I feel bad for Alice.  I think after the birth of her chld she had PPD and instead of trying to be helpful, Amma, her mother-in-law takes the baby back to India with her.  I think that would not only be horrible but also more depressing.  I can't imagine trying to juggle a new husband, a new baby, and a Mother-In-Law who is controlling and also from a different culture.  The pressure would have been unbelievable!

I was scared at first that it would either be really hard to understand (since I know almost nothing about India and Hindu way of life) or too obvious that the author was includding info so that her readers would not be lost.  But it has a nice balance.  Snell explains things but not at the loss of the story line.  I also really love that in the back of the book there is receipes for dishes that are mentioned in the book.  I wish I had known about them as I was reading because I would have liked to flip back their as I read about the dish to see how it is prepared and with what ingredients are in it.

I also really like that at the begining Alice is looked at as an outsider but after getting involved in an old family lie, she is now includded as one of the family!

I think this book does a great job of showing us that in the end love can really conquer all. Rating: Photobucket


Blogger Cheryl Snell said...

Thanks for spending time with the book and sharing your impressions. It's always interesting to hear what people have to say about the characters I lived with for so long.

Wow, that almost sounds as if I miss 'em!

July 12, 2010 at 6:33 PM  
Blogger Sheila Deeth said...

I enjoyed the recipes, but they're way too scary for my level of culinary skill. I enjoyed how easily one could relate to Alice's feelings, even without sharing her experience.

July 12, 2010 at 8:14 PM  
Blogger Cheryl Snell said...

Hi Sheila!

The rasam is very easy. It's just spiced broth, but to my husband, it's a delicacy.

I'm glad you found Alice relatable. She has a Marilyn Monroesque kind of vulnerability, in my mind's eye.

July 12, 2010 at 10:16 PM  

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