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The Toss of a Lemon

The Toss of a Lemon

Author(s): Padma Viswanathan

Location(s): India

Genre(s): Fiction

Era(s): 1896-1962

Location

Content

Spanning the lifetime of one woman (1896-1962), “The Toss of a Lemon” brings us intimately into a Brahmin household, into an India we’ve never before seen.Married at ten, widowed at eighteen, left with two children, Sivakami must wear widow’s whites, shave her head, and touch no one from dawn to dusk. She is not allowed to remarry, and in the next sixty years she ventures outside her family compound only three times. She is extremely orthodox in her behaviour except for one defiant act: She moves back to her dead husband’s house and village to raise her children. That decision sets the course of her children’s and grandchildren’s lives, twisting their fates in surprising, sometimes heartbreaking ways.Inspired by her grandmother’s stories, Padma Viswanathan masterfully brings to life a profoundly exotic yet utterly recognizable family in the midst of social and political upheaval.

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Lead Review

The Toss of a Lemon is a captivating novel that in relating the story of one Indian woman and her family tells the story of a changing society. Precisely and deftly written, constantly interesting,...

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