Thursday, June 20, 2013

Book Review - Where the Peacocks Sing, Alison Singh Gee

Where the Peacocks Sing: A Palace, a Prince, and the Search for Home


Alison Singh Gee

Category: Nonfiction: Memoir: Asia & Asian-American

Synopsis: Asian-American Gee falls in love with Indian Ajay while living in Hong Kong.

Date finished: 30 May 2013

Rating: ***½

I love books about other cultures and other parts of the world. I love descriptions of daily life, meals, and how homes are furnished around the globe. I love books about the journey to finding home or the challenges of creating it. I like stories about two people from different places discovering each other. I love happy endings. This book had all of those elements.

And yet, I was disappointed.

Perhaps the book was too tidy. Everything pertaining to relationships—Gee’s and Ajays, Gee’s and her in-laws—got tied up so neatly. But the big plot point—what would become of the havli (the Singh family’s manor/palace), Mokimpur—this was not resolved. Perhaps I never fully trusted the narrator’s change of heart that led to a change of pace. Perhaps the amount of emphasis put on money in all three cultures was off-putting.

Read as is, though, this was a nice light travel to India (with a bit of Hong Kong and Los Angeles mixed in). It just wasn’t completely satisfying to me.

Would you recommend this to a friend?
Probably not. Although I might recommend it to anyone truly charmed by India.

You might also enjoy:
My Berlin Kitchen: A Love Story (with Recipes) by Luisa Weiss

Other Reviews:
Read this from Sophisticated Dorkiness.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Carrie -- thanks for taking the time to read, comment and link to my review. I think your comment that the memoir felt tidy is a good one. As is the point about money throughout the book. I had a hard time with that particular aspect of it too. I loved the sense of culture and place, just had a few issues with some of the story arc that was hanging on.