The Village By The Sea
Review of the beautiful novel that I had read some time back.
The Village by the Sea is a fantastic novel by Anita Desai. The novel is set in the beautiful fishing village of Thul, fourteen kilometers from Bombay, India that is surrounded by rice paddies and coconut groves. The main characters of the novel are Hari and his sister Lila. Their mother is severely ill and is bed ridden. While their father, once a fisherman, is a drunkard.
Lila has to do all the chores and to look after her ailing mother as well as two younger sisters and Hari has to plow the small field that they have and to keep the house running. While Hari and Lila struggle to make ends meet, this sleepy village is abuzz with rumors that the government is going to set up fertilizer factory in Thul very soon. This meant the paddies and coconut groves would be replaced by the factory and fishing wouldn’t be lucrative anymore. The prospect of the factory meant new jobs as well. But Hari couldn’t wait for the factory project to begin, besides he isn’t sure whether he would get a job or not while he desperately needs money for the treatment of his dying mother, for the education of his younger siblings, for the wedding of Lila and to bring happiness in their sad house.
After much deliberation he gets ready to take risk for the sake of his family. He runs away to Bombay without letting anyone know. Will he survive in the monstrous city? Will he be able to make and save some money for his family? Will he get back to his village safe and sound? Answers to these questions can be found in this enthralling novel about the struggle and determination of a young boy.
The village by the sea is pleasure to read because not only it is a poignant tale that the writer claims to be based on true incident but it awesomely depicts the scenic beauty of Thul and the crazy life of Bombay. Though basically it is for the young readers still it is highly recommended if you haven’t read it yet!