- Hardcover: 372 pages
- Publisher: HarperCollins India; 1 edition (7 January 2019)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 9353025982
- ISBN-13: 978-9353025984
- Package Dimensions: 22.2 x 15 x 3 cm
- Average Customer Review: 64 customer reviews
Amazon Bestsellers Rank:
#130 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- #13 in Contemporary Fiction (Books)
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The Forest of Enchantments Hardcover – 7 Jan 2019
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About the Author
Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni is an award-winning and bestselling author, poet, activist and teacher of writing. Her work has been published widely, in magazines and anthologies, and her books have been translated into twenty-nine languages. Several of her works have been made into films and plays.
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But does the book deliever the hefty claims? No it doesn't.
I'm sorry to say ( sorry because I expected so much) the book offers no unique insight as is promised.
It repaints Ramayana in the same colours, only the prose is poorer and the language far from engrossing. The writing is banal and Sita's ponderings do not offer anything unique. No thought provoking insights into the happenings and the characters. The writing seems hurriedly done, and the repeated conclusions that Sita keeps drawing about 'love' mar the flow of reading. Phrases like "So that's what love is", "Love does this to you.. " keep appearing every now and then, which honestly is poorly done and very annoying.
The writer has nothing new to offer through the voice of Sita.
This is the same Sita of Ramayana - the dutiful wife, the loving mother, the selfless queen, the abandoned hermitess.
What of her as an individual, as the woman she was? Nothing of the sort did I come across in this book except the fact that she was an excellent healer and trained in war skills but it is toned down to exude the sterotypical femininity.
I didn't find her voice empowering and inspiring. It's the same lamenting cry awash with sad tears and longing.
Same with other female characters. Looks like most stories are stuffed and doesn't seem like their 'voices' were fairly heard.
What is worse is that the injustice delivered by male characters be it Sage Gautam or Lord Ram or Lakshmana or even Ravana is kept veiled under the garb of their duty and morals. They are glorified and presented as noble men who can't be blamed for their actions however cruel or unjust they had been. The book fails here to call spade a spade.
Also the writer tries to add philosophical angles at times but it simply makes it sound more superficial and manufactured.
This book disappointed me both as a reader and as a woman. This is one of those few books I regret reading. The hype is seriously out of my comprehension as it is a very pretentious attempt at something that could've been groundbreaking and impactful.
Like PHILIP LUTGENDORF said ‘’among the many many Ramayanas, there are now-even- thankfully some ‘SITAYANA’. “
I am really glad that my favourite author has come with such a brilliant depiction of SITAYANA, voicing the entire book from Sita’s point and also shedding some light on the other female characters from the epic like never before. And the beautiful thing about the book is she has emphasised on female characters without affronting or belittling any of the male characters. Also throughout the book she has unveiled about different forms of love and its consequences which is a lesson I would carry with me.
At the beginning of the book she has mentioned about the old blessing by elders ‘May you be like SITA’. I was always skeptical about this but now, I would say that the author as hoped, has succeeded in bringing a new meaning to that age old blessing in my life.
A familiar tale with a deep and thought provoking insights!
I'd Never thought of this part of Ramayana. Whenever I read or watch Ramayana it always Disturbed me seeing a woman so helpless and following every order of her husband without resisting But this part of the story widened my scope of her character, her resistance and how badly she wanted her husband to trust her love. This Sita is way more than what I had ever think of... Strong Sita, source of power and inspiration.
While the book cover is gorgeous but the editor could not do justice to this book. The typos emphsise a shoddy job done by Harper Collins. It feels like Diya Kar was in a great rush to have the book ready and left several typos unchecked.
A writer who knows how to write about such mistreated women from Indian epics in a way, that truly brings them to life.Sita was among them ,who shaped Ramayana, who was heroic in her own way but was victim of the patriarchal set-up.
It was about the Ramayana from Sita’s viewpoint and the viewpoints of other female characters ( esp. Urmila, Mandodari snd Shoorpanakha). There seemed to be a lack of depth in what they felt, as written in the story.
I had started the book so after half the book, I kept at it just to finish the book rather than do so because the story was engrossing.