Voices in the Valley by Suravi Sharma Kumar

Today’s offering is a review of the novel Voices in the Valley by Suravi Sharma Kumar.

Title:  Voices in the Valley
Author:  Suravi Sharma Kumar
Format:  Paperback and eBook
Publisher:  Rupa Publications
Pages:  200
ISBN:  978- 8129119667
Genre:  Literary Fiction
Stars: 4
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About the Book:  Against the backdrop of a politically turbulent Assam, a young girl named Millie is determined to make her voice heard. She spends her childhood in a rural set-up with seven sisters, three anxious matriarchs and a resigned father this is what her small world is all about. Born in a family of priests, she struggles with orthodoxy and convention, and goes on to become a student leader something which only foreshadows the bigger role she is destined to play. A flawed horoscope delays her marriage, but hastens her emancipation. Her tryst with romance is overwhelming, and sweeps her off her feet, but… Ethnic clashes, militant activities, violent elections disturb the countryside, otherwise home to several tribal communities, lush tea gardens, exotic orchids, sundry birds, one-horned rhinos and much more.

My Review:

This is a book that is, above all, Indian in feel, language and sheer poetic metaphor. While to the western eye the language seems strange; if you are able to ‘read’ with the intention of visualizing the imagery presented, the words will flow off the page and capture you.  Like many authors, the images are drawn from experience and those experiences: are also a cultural immersion. The phrasing is poetic, with a multitude of characters introduced and developed in order of their import to the overall story, and the struggles each has with their place in that story. Ultimately this is a tale of a young woman’s finding her voice and defining her place in a society that is less than welcoming her independent streak and strong minded ideals.  Coincidentally, it appears as if the factions within Northern India are also displeased by her revelations, as tensions surrounding the different ethnic and political groups are all played out against the lush and colorful lands that surround them.  A beautiful first novel that introduces an area of India I did not know. *I received a copy of this book from the author for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review, and all conclusions are my own responsibility.   To See what others thought about Voices in the Valley, including other tour stops and more about the author – read more: What Others have said about Voices in the Valley: “I have read the book twice. In my frank opinion, it’s an excellent work of literature. Use of Grammar is complex and comprehensible. This book will be categorized as a classic and if the academic and literary community can be persuaded, it may well be accepted for an English prose or non-detail text for English educating students.” ~Dr. Naresh “Prose style is poetic and lucid.Hope to see the book go up and make a mark in the literary circle.” ~Srinu Rao “A lyrical piece of work with intelligent observations written with detailed research.” ~Junali Barman

About the Author:  Suravi Sharma Kumar is a doctor by profession but has always been fascinated by the world of literature. What inspired her to write this book was the fact that most of mainland India is still unfamiliar with the country s Northeast and is unaware of its innate beauty. This is her first book and is based on her research and experiences in the valley.