The Toss of a Lemon by Padma Viswanathan is a hefty epic novel about an Brahmin Indian family, spanning three generations---beginning in 1896. Although the book is fiction, the author's idea for the book was based on stories told to her by her grandmother over the years.
The novel follows Sivakami, from the time of her marriage in 1896 at the age of ten, to when she becomes a widow at age eighteen, left alone with two young children. The story continues as the reader watches the difficulties faced by her household and other family members during this period, up until her death. The family remained central to the story despite the political atmosphere at the time.
The book was an impressive work which I did enjoy. Having said that I need to add that there was far too much detail for my taste (the author could have easily eliminated 150 pages and still had a beautiful novel). In addition, I did find some difficulty with the writing style ( more annoyance ), as certain passages did not flow smoothly. Despite this the book is recommended for readers for enjoy a very good historical novel.
RATING - 4/5 - COMPLETED - 9/24/08