Posted 20 hours ago

The Village by the Sea (A Puffin Book)

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Jagu agrees to let Hari work in his restaurant so Hari sends home a postcard letting his sisters know where he is and that he is going to bring his earnings to them. Life is hard for Hari in Bombay but he works hard. While working for Jagu, Hari meets Mr. Panwallah who takes Hari under his wing and starts to teach him how to make watches and how to repair them.

Heart-wrenching, steeped in emotion and pain, but at the same time magical and surreal, with a profound beauty that still lives in my memories.In the morning when Lila tried to wake her mother, she didn’t respond and was burning with fever. Lila sends Bela and Kamal to their neighbors, the Khanekars, to ask for Hira-bai to come. Kamal wonders if the neighbors will be drunk like her father, but the two girls go off. They see a discarded snake skin on their way, which momentarily scares them. The story portrays the city, as seen though the eyes of a small village boy, as frightening, noisy and dirty, and some parts as huge and glimmering with the lights of massive buildings. Hari thinks about the options in his life—go to Bombay, get a wage job, or work on a boat—and starts to worry.

During the time Hari is in Bombay, Lila finds succor from the de Silva family. When they come for their vacation, Lila works for them. She asks Mr. de Silva to take her mother to the hospital when she hears he is driving that way, and he immediately agrees and says he will take care of everything. When Lila’s father hears of this, he yells at her in a drunken rage, but he goes to the hospital and remains at his wife’s side. He also gives up drinking and is much more subdued. Lila visits every week, and her mother improves more and more.

The book had a lot of potential to branch out into descriptions but narrowed its focus on only one family, leaving many questions unanswered. Jagu growls at his wife to get the boy food and his wife begins to complain that she cannot feed their own children. Jagu is fed up with her and leaves to go get a drink. After he leaves, she falls silent. Hari is embarrassed and feels bad for her.

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