Book Review: Sleeping on Jupiter by Anuradha Roy

It was then that I realised I was old enough to know fairy tales were not true

61oAnsSzm0L._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_Longlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2015, and hailed as one of the most anticipated novel of the year, Anuradha Roy’s “Sleeping On Jupiter” disappoints on many levels.

The story runs a number of parallel tracks, primarily with Nomita Frederikson, who visits a holy town called Jarmuli in search of her buried past and coming to terms with her childhood which haunts her in an attempt to sort out the fact from fiction. Suraj, her work partner who’s also dealing with life’s issue and who looks lost throughout the novel. Then there are 3 senior women who travels together for the first and probably the last time together. Also playing a part is temple guide Badal, who’s ill fated and torrid affair with Raghu forms another sub-plot. Tea stall owner Johnny Toppo, who sings a mysterious folk song and vehemently refuses to revisit his past.

The book tries to do too much in too little. Some of the character build-ups are good, especially the central character of Nomi. While others seem as lost as their lives. The book is at times directionless with the reader having no clue about who to connect with and what.Although some of the passages are brilliant, overall it failed to excite me. The author, it seemed had very little plot to develop this into a full fledged novel.

Maybe I would have been less disappointed if I had picked this book up randomly. But with the expectations I had from this one it was certainly not more worth than 2 Stars!

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