Monday, April 15, 2013

THE ABUNDANCE: A REVIEW AND GIVEAWAY

From the Author of the Highly-Praised Novel Partitions, a Breathtaking Portrait of Indian-American Life, Cooking, and the Ties That Bind and Separate Generations
  GIVEAWAY ENDED
THE ABUNDANCE
BY AMIT MAJMUDAR

ABOUT THE BOOK:
A luminous, bittersweet novel of India and the American midwest, immigrants and their first-generation children, and the power of cooking to bridge the gulfs between them
When Mala and Ronak learn that their mother has only a few months to live, they are reluctantly pulled back into the midwestern world of their Indian immigrant parents--a diaspora of prosperous doctors and engineers who have successfully managed to keep faith with the old world while claiming the prizes of the new. More successfully than their children--equally ill at ease with Holi and Christmas, bhaji and barbecue, they are mysteries to their parents and themselves.
In the short time between diagnosis and deterioration, Mala sets about learning everything she can about her mother's art of Indian cooking. Perfecting the naan and the raita, the two confront their deepest divisions and failures and learn to speak as well as cook. But when Ronak hits upon the idea of selling their experience as a book and a TV documentary, India and America, immigrant and native-born are torn as never before.
With grace, acuity, and wry compassion, Amit Majmudar has written anew the immigrant experience, the clash of cultures, the conflicts of assimilation, and, most poignantly, the tangled ties between generations.
PRAISE FOR THE ABUNDANCE:
“A wonder of lyrical and transparent writing.... Its complexity keeps The Abundance feeling so fresh and human: We hurt even when we mean to heal.”—Cleveland Plain Dealer
“This heartbreakingly lovely novel evocatively captures the often contentious but ultimately loving essence of a cross-generational Indian American family.… Majmudar, author of the highly regarded Partitions, displays an understated flair for imagery and language, communicating the significance of the ties that bind without ever resorting to mawkish sentimentality. Delectable and convincing literary fiction that subtly shines the spotlight on some basic universal truths.”—Booklist

“Majmudar’s magnificent fiction debut, Partitions, investigated the wrenching moral dilemmas posed by the partition of India and Pakistan in 1947; here, he trains the same unsparing yet compassionate eye on a contemporary family in the Midwest.... ‘This is not a book about dying,’ the narrator informs us. ‘This is a book about life.’ Indeed it is, and not life airbrushed by sentimentality, but life as it is actually experienced by flawed human beings—perfectly rendered by their gifted author. Beautifully written and deeply moving.”
—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“A moving story of motherhood across cultural divides... Powerful in its simplicity and honesty, The Abundance reminds us of the way our roots inevitably shape our adult selves.”
Publishers Weekly

 “A page-turner to tempt you… A sweet-and-spicy story of parenting across generational and cultural gaps."
—Good Housekeeping
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Amit Majmudar is the author of Partitions, chosen by Kirkus Reviews as one of the best debut novels of 2011 and by Booklist as one of the year’s ten best works of historical fiction. His poetry has been published in The New Yorker, The Atlantic, and Best American Poetry 2011. A radiologist, he lives in Columbus, Ohio.

AN EXCERPT FROM THE ABUNDANCE:
They arrive after midnight on the twenty-third. Mala had called from Indianapolis at around 10 PM and said they were having dinner at a Denny’s. I told her I would put everything in the refrigerator, it wasn’t a problem. She said she was sorry, but they had left home later than they wanted, it hadn’t been in her control, the snow had been heavy since they crossed into Indiana. The weather was clear where we were, I told her. She said yes, but it was snowing where they were, and she really had tried to get home in time.

I could tell she was frustrated. The children were still awake, and the food hadn’t arrived yet. I could hear Vivek’s demands in the background and her own pleading, cajoling, halfhearted threats. Sachin had taken Shivani and was pacing back and forth in the waiting area, hoping to calm her. The tone of Mala’s apology was reproachful. She assumed that I was reproaching her, even though I wasn’t, even though I don’t think like that. I know she is harried, overstretched, a mother and a career woman. I cut the call short so she could focus on Shivani and Vivek.

I am still awake when she calls my phone again.

“Were you asleep?” she whispers. Her mood seems improved, I can tell from her tone. “We’re here.”

“Did you take the exit already?”

“We’re outside, in the driveway.”
I smile into the darkness. “Okay, I’m opening the door.” ...To finish reading this excerpt, visit the publisher's website HERE. 
MY THOUGHTS/REVIEW:
THE ABUNDANCE by Amit Majmudar is a wonderful book about family and food, loving and caring. With Majmudar's well developed characters, the narrative is easy to follow and fall into as you want to know more about this family. The story spans and joins different generations and cultures, all brought about by a tragic event, yet not written as a sad story. Brother and sister, Ronak and Mala, are visiting their mother who is trying to hide the truth from them about her illness. She is dying and doesn't want them to know about it and thus ruin the time she has with them. However, they do find out and from there the story takes on a new perspective. With Mala trying to learn all she can from her mother about being a good wife and mother, to being an excellent cook, the bond between the two women grows strong and beneficial to them both. Mala actually becomes a better mother to her own children thanks to this time spent with her mother. She also learns how to cook the traditional Indian foods and I think that is so important as she will be able to hand it down to her children and a culture shall be held close to the heart, if not physically close, where ever they go.
Ronak is somewhat jealous and tries in many ways to please his mother but feels his sister has the upper hand. He tends to his mother's garden, or at least pays others to do it, as he knows that is important to her and will please her. THE ABUNDANCE is divided into three sections starting with the mother trying to hide her secret but when all is said and done, what the reader will find is a beautifully written story about the family relationships between two generations of Indian immigrants. Perfectly portrayed individual personalities give readers an inside look into their lives, and what each part is overall, in a heartfelt family drama filled with devotion and caring. Even with Amit Majmudar writing mostly from the parents' point of view, it is so well done that he lovingly portrays all the characters in a fair and benevolent light.
   GIVEAWAY
THANKS TO EMILY AND THE GOOD FOLKS
 AT HENRY HOLT & COMPANY, I HAVE 
ONE COPY OF THE ABUNDANCE TO
GIVE AWAY TO A LUCKY FOLLOWER
 
--U.S. RESIDENTS ONLY
--NO P. O. BOXES
---INCLUDE YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS
IN CASE YOU WIN!
--ALL COMMENTS MUST BE SEPARATE TO
 

COUNT AS MORE THAN ONE!


HOW TO ENTER:


+1 ENTRY: COMMENT ON WHAT YOU READ ABOVE ABOUT THE ABUNDANCE THAT MADE YOU WANT TO WIN THIS BOOK, AND DON'T FORGET YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS 
+1 MORE ENTRY: BLOG AND/OR TWEET ABOUT THIS GIVEAWAY AND COME BACK HERE AND LEAVE ME YOUR LINK 
+1 MORE ENTRY: COMMENT ON SOMETHING YOU FIND INTERESTING AT AMIT MAJMUDAR'S WEBSITE HERE 
+1 MORE ENTRY: COMMENT ON ONE WAY YOU FOLLOW MY BLOG. IF YOU FOLLOW MORE THAN ONE WAY, YOU CAN COMMENT SEPARATELY AND EACH WILL COUNT AS AN ENTRY 
+1 MORE ENTRY: COMMENT ON A CURRENT GIVEAWAY THAT YOU HAVE ENTERED ON MY BLOG. IF YOU ENTERED MORE THAN ONE, YOU MAY COMMENT SEPARATELY FOR EACH TO RECEIVE MORE ENTRIES
 
GIVEAWAY ENDS AT
6 PM, EST, APRIL 30
GOOD LUCK!  

62 comments:

debbie said...

This sounds like a really good book. I would love to see how the family deals with her illness.
twoofakind12@yahoo.com

debbie said...

I am a email subscriber.
twoofakind12@yahoo.com

debbie said...

I am a gfc follower
debbie
twoofakind12@yahoo.com

debbie said...

I entered end me a tenor.
twoofakind12@yahoo.com

debbie said...

I entered oak and dagger.
twoofakind12@yahoo.com

debbie said...

I entered the smart one.
twoofakind12@yahoo.com

Pamela Keener said...

Thanks to your review I want to read this book.
pk4290(at)comcast(dot)net

petite said...

This novel sounds fascinating. elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com

petite said...

I am a follower. elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com

petite said...

I am an e-mail subscriber. elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com

petite said...

Entered Homicide. elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com

petite said...

Entered Oak. elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com

petite said...

Entered Flame. elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com

petite said...

Entered Tenor. elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com

petite said...

Entered There was an old woman. elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com

petite said...

Entered The house at the end of hope street. elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com

petite said...

Entered Prophet. elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com

petite said...

Entered And Then I Found You. elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com

petite said...

Entered The Smart One. elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com

petite said...

Entered Thistle Lane. elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com

petite said...

Entered Under Currents. elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com

petite said...

The author is a radiologist and an author. talent galore. elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com

traveler said...

A captivating story. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

traveler said...

I am an e-mail subscriber. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

traveler said...

I think that the author is brilliant. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

traveler said...

I entered End me a tenor. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

traveler said...

I entered The Smart One. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

traveler said...

I entered The house at the end of hope street. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

traveler said...

I entered There was an old woman. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

traveler said...

I entered Prophet of bones. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

traveler said...

I entered homicide Hustle. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

traveler said...

I entered And then I found you. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

traveler said...

I entered Oak and Dagger. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

traveler said...

I entered this Flame of mine. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

traveler said...

I entered Cross Currents. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

traveler said...

I entered The Thistle lane book. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

Margie said...

For some reason, I really love novels based on other cultures. Thanks for the giveaway.
mtakala1 AT yahoo DOT com

Margie said...

It is interesting that this author is a diagnostic nuclear radiologist.
mtakala1 AT yahoo DOT com

Margie said...

FB 1
mtakala1 AT yahoo DOT com

Margie said...

FB 2
mtakala1 AT yahoo DOT com

Margie said...

FB 3
mtakala1 AT yahoo DOT com

Margie said...

FB 4
mtakala1 AT yahoo DOT com

Margie said...

FB 5
mtakala1 AT yahoo DOT com

Margie said...

email subscriber
mtakala1 AT yahoo DOT com

Margie said...

GFC follower
mtakala1 AT yahoo DOT com

Margie said...

Networked Blogs follower
mtakala1 AT yahoo DOT com

Margie said...

Facebook fan
mtakala1 AT yahoo DOT com

Margie said...

RSS feed via Google Reader
mtakala1 AT yahoo DOT com

Margie said...

entered And Then I Found You
mtakala1 AT yahoo DOT com

Margie said...

entered House at End of Hope Street
mtakala1 AT yahoo DOT com

Margie said...

Entered There was an Old Woman
mtakala1 AT yahoo DOT com

Margie said...

entered Prophet of Bones
mtakala1 AT yahoo DOT com

Margie said...

entered Thistle Lane
mtakala1 AT yahoo DOT com

Margie said...

entered When Summer Comes
mtakala1 AT yahoo DOT com

Margie said...

entered Swimming
mtakala1 AT yahoo DOT com

Sue Farrell said...

I think we all enjoy Indian food but know so little of the culture---should be enlightening.
suefarrell.farrell@gmail.com

Sue Farrell said...

I am an email subscriber.
suefarrell.farrell@gmail.com

Sue Farrell said...

I follow on twitter as @Suekey12.
suefarrell.farrell@gmail.com

Sue Farrell said...

I entered Oak and Dagger.
suefarrell.farrell@gmail.com

Sue Farrell said...

I entered The Smart One.
suefarrell.farrell@gmail.com

Margie said...

entered Fly Away
mtakala1 AT yahoo DOT com

Margie said...

entered Heading Out to Wonderful
mtakala1 AT yahoo DOT com

CLICK HERE TO
SEE MY POLICY