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  • Writer's pictureJenny Carless

“The Sleeping Dictionary”

Updated: Mar 20, 2019

Kudos to Sujata Massey for her wonderful book, “The Sleeping Dictionary.” My book club read this recently, and we all really enjoyed it.

The Bengali narrator we meet as a very young girl has just lost her family to a tidal wave. We follow her difficult life as she is forced to transform her persona—even her name—multiple times to survive against the prejudices and other restrictions imposed by both the caste system and the British Raj. The narrator’s struggle for her freedom and self-fulfillment is set against India’s advancement toward its own independence.

With beautiful language and imagery as well as believable, compelling characters, “The Sleeping Dictionary” kept me reading far too late into the night than was good for me. Now, I’m going to have to check out Sujata’s Rei Shimura mysteries!

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