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The Sleeping Dictionary

Category: Book
By (author): Massey, Sujata
Subject:  FICTION / Coming of Age
  FICTION / General
  FICTION / Historical
Publisher: Gallery Books
Published: August 2013
Format: Book-paperback
Pages: 528
Size: 8.25in x 5.31in x 1.40in
List Price:
$ 24.99
Our Price:
$ 18.99
(24% Off)
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Additional Notes


In 1930, a great ocean wave blots out a Bengali village, leaving only one survivor, a young girl. As a maidservant in a British boarding school, Pom is renamed Sarah and discovers her gift for languages. Her private dreams almost die when she arrives in Kharagpur and is recruited into a secretive, decadent world. Eventually, she lands in Calcutta, renames herself Kamala, and creates a new life rich in books and friends. But although success and even love seem within reach, she remains trapped by what she is . . . and is not. As India struggles to throw off imperial rule, Kamala uses her hard-won skills-for secrecy, languages, and reading the unspoken gestures of those around her-to fight for her country's freedom and her own happiness.
Review Quote*"Trapped by her past and uncertain of her future, the peasant girl Kamala's journey toward independence-personal and political-unfolds in this riveting historical novel.The award-winning author of the Rei Shimura mysteries turns to 1930s–40s India,with the British in control of the colony as Gandhi and others fight for freedom. The setting gives new life to the familiar story of an orphan girl struggling to make her way in a cruel world. Clever Kamala is front and center throughout, as Massey builds her coming-of-age tale around India as it moves toward independence, effectively combining personal narrative with the grandeur of a sweeping historical epic. The characters are easily categorized, but deft storytelling prevents them from being predictable. The book is also notable for its detail-driven depiction of the limitations imposed by caste and colonization. The Sleeping Dictionary, an utterly engrossing tale of love, espionage, betrayal, and survival, is historical fiction at its best,accessible to all audiences."
Review Quote*"A love story richly woven with India's history and struggle for independence, The Sleeping Dictionary took me on captivating journey through one woman's devastation, resilience, truth and triumph."
Review Quote*"The Sleeping Dictionary is the book that Sujata Massey was meant to write -- an ambitious story of suspense and love and identity, rendered in lush, captivating language. To read it is to step into a fast-moving time machine that delivers us to places and events that  will be new to many readers. An exciting, bold work."
Review Quote*"Sujata Massey has created a marvelous multi-named, warm-blooded heroine who is strong willed and loving; smart and cunning; charming and intelligent; naive yet worldy. Sujata masterfully weaves her heroine's life with India's struggle and fight for freedom and gives us an elegant piece of Indian history wrapped beautifully in Pom's story."
Review Quote*"The broad scope in years and decades, history and politics of Massey's saga will remind readers of Mitchner, Uris, and Clavell. Readers may think of a sleeping dictionary as a mistress who teaches her master the customs and language of the country, but such is not the case with Massey's heroine, who eloquently, slowly, and sometimes painstakingly relates her journey from child to revolutionary and lover. There is sadness, tragedy, joy, love and triumph-everything saga readers enjoy."