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Tuesday, September 18, 2007

On Borrowed Wings

On Borrowed Wings is a novel by Chandra Prasad. The novel contains deceipt and subterfuge, but it is not a crime or mystery story.

The story details the ordinary life of a young woman in America during the Depression with future prospects being nothing more than marriage, children and small town life. An unexpected tragedy offers her a larger opportunity to make something of herself, with one catch; she must pose as a male. The story consists of her trying to fit in and find her way, all without being discovered.

To be honest with you, I found this book a slightly difficult read. There was a rather gloomy undertone that kept me feeling uncomfortable, however I did have to remind myself of the time it was portraying, which was not a happy time. And perhaps the discomfort came from knowing how difficult it would be to hide such a huge secret and the anxiety that it would create in one's daily life. Knowing how hard things were for women during those days, you come to have a deep respect for the main character and her perseverance. She makes several differences in some lives and at the expense of losing what's left of her family, she carves out a future for herself.

Overall, I enjoyed the book even though it did not have me fully captivated all of the time. I think that Chandra Prasad has achieved the goal of "girls are just as good as boys", whether that was her intent or not. Most of us are familiar with the story of Yentl and how far that deception had to go. This is not a theme that you find often in fiction and I appreciate the author for tackling it. I would recommend this novel and I look forward to reading more by Ms. Prasad.

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