Thursday, January 20, 2011

Boys Without Names

Boys Without Names
By Kashmira Sheth
Balzer + Bray, 2010. 316 pages. Fiction.

Gopal and his family leave their Indian village in search of a more prosperous life in Mumbai. The transition isn't easy for Gopal. He misses the rural life, and experiences difficulty finding employment in the city. He is desperate to provide money for his family, especially after his father mysteriously disappears. A stranger offers Gopal a job working in a factory. He then drugs Gopal with tea and takes him to a home where he is imprisoned for the majority of the book. The home is basically a sweatshop, where he and a few other young boys are put to work decorating picture frames for international sales. The conditions are awful, but Gopal remains optimistic.

Kashmira Sheth is a consistently wonderful author. Her books (Keeping Corner is my favorite) allow you to escape to India in every way. Both guys and gals will be interested in the suspenseful story of Gopal's imprisonment. My only complaint is that the ending felt rushed and unsatisfying. There are some loose ends that never get resolved.

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