It has been a while since I have reviewed a book on here. Reading has been a bit low on the list of things to do lately, but I finally got around to reading The Hero’s Walk, a finalist on CBC’s Canada Reads list for 2016.
When I attended Canada Reads last year and watched the panel of Canadian celebrities passionately champion their respective novels, I honed in on 3 books I knew I was going to enjoy. I have already featured 2 on my blog (Bone & Bread and Birdie). The Hero’s Walk by Anita Rau Badami was last on my list and without further ado, here it is!
Badami opens her 359-pager on a hot July morning in a village in India,
“In a few hours the heat would hang over the town in long, wet sheets, puddle behind people’s knees, in their armpits and in the hollows of their necks, and drip down their foreheads. Sweaty thighs would stick to chairs and make rude sucking sounds when contact was broken.”
I am usually hooked onto a book within the first 2 pages. Once I get past that and if I am struggling to read it, I never will. Badami though is an expert at her craft. She carefully constructs her words into ropes that tug at you ever so gently and suck you right into her world of regret, guilt, anger, resentment, longing, pain, loss, misunderstanding and the tiniest flicker of hope. She is masterful in her creation of characters that are so well-developed that they could easily be people in your life. With her scintillating metaphors, she captures your imagination on so many different levels and provides you with a wholistic picture that appeals to you through a variety of senses. Badami is a snake-charmer of sorts with her poetic language subtly creeping up on you and making you marvel at the dexterity of her mind and hand in conveying a beautiful language of her own. Her metaphors and similes are exquisite delicacies waiting to be devoured! Not only is the plot of her book a field rich in fodder, her language is so beautifully carved out as well.
Badami knows how to create in her reader a sympathy for all her characters, even the most hated of them. The emotional ride is quite an intense one and there were times I had tears streaming down my face and I had to put the book down for later to keep from becoming too emotionally-overwhelmed. I was thoroughly impressed by Badami’s ability to take on perspectives of people from different cultures and ages and pull it all off.
Predominantly based in India with a few pages lightly brushing through Vancouver in Canada, this book exposes Indian culture and lifestyle bare. Badami makes no bones about the conditions that people in this village have to contend with. You are equally shocked, disgusted and in awe of how life operates.
Canadian actor, Vinay Virmani who passionately argued for The Hero’s Walk to win last year promised that he would work on making this book into a major motion picture. I hope Mr. Virmani is hard at work on fulfilling said promise because I for one cannot wait to watch it! I don’t usually give my books a full rating, but this one deserves it.
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