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Teresa's Reading Corner: Shiva's Arms by Cheryl Snell

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Shiva's Arms by Cheryl Snell

When Alice marries Ramesh, she is plunged into a battle of wills with her mother-in-law. And when a family secret is revealed that costs the old woman everything, it is up to Alice to heal the rift between them, as Shiva’s Arms evolves into an exploration of cultural identity, the power of reconciliation, and the meaning of home.

My thoughts: In Shiva's Arms, Cheryl took me into a world that is so different from my own.  It is the story of an American woman who marries a South Indian man.  The couple tries to live peacefully while merging two very different cultures.  Alice is immediately cast out by her mother in law as an unacceptable match for Ramesh.  She does everything she can to prove that her in laws are wrong, sometimes at great cost to herself.

I spent much of the story disliking Ramesh's mother for the way she treated Alice and sometimes found myself very angry with Alice for allowing her to do it.  I am fortunate enough to have a very good relationship with my mother in law so I cannot relate to Alice in this sense. A few twists and turns later, I got it.

We meet several characters during the story of Alice and Ramesh.  One of them is Ramesh's sister Nela.  Nela was one of my favorite characters.  Cast out of her own family she has the strength and courage to strike out on her own.  During my interview with Cheryl I learned that she is working on telling Nela's story.  I am looking forward to reading it.

Shivas Arms was a story that really got me thinking.  It evoked a lot of different emotions as I read through it.  It isn't a fluffy story that allows you to race through it in one afternoon.  Don't read it while hungry though, Cheryl includes some recipes in the book.  I'm looking forward to trying them out.

Disclosure:  I received a copy of Shiva's Arms from the author and her publicist for participation in this blog tour.  Receipt of this book did not affect my review in any way.  These are my honest opinions.

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At July 6, 2010 at 8:35 AM , Blogger Jo-Jo said...

Thanks for the review...I love cultural fiction and this book has definitely caught my attention.


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