Official Review: Indian Immigrant by Biku Ghosh

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Cecilia_L
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Official Review: Indian Immigrant by Biku Ghosh

Post by Cecilia_L » 05 Oct 2018, 23:48

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "Indian Immigrant" by Biku Ghosh.]
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4 out of 4 stars
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"They left India at a young age with the specific aim of obtaining further qualifications and training--to complete a stage in their careers. Most immigrant aspirants were disappointed with their experience of working and studying in this country. They always hoped that they would break out of the cycle and in the end they did not but stayed on to make the most of it. They were indentured to the system." House of Lords, 1961

Indian Immigrant by Biku Ghosh is a collection of fiction stories based on historical evidence depicting the lives and reflections of various Indians settling in Britain spanning from 1710-2016.

The book is divided into two parts with Part One including five chapters ranging from the years 1710-1914 from the locations of Bengal, Telangana, Assam, Britain, and Punjab. The stories in these chapters deal with some of the issues the Indian immigrants faced such as being kidnapped as slaves, harsh beatings, being cheated wages and inheritances, indentured servitude, discrimination related to interracial marriages and against women of color, and the treatment of Indian soldiers who fought for Britain in WWI. Part Two includes eighteen chapters spanning 1921-2016. The first chapter resumes in East Bengal and explains the history of the tension between the Muslim population and Hindu communities. This chapter also lays the foundation for the rest of the book with the introduction to the Kanta family. Subsequent chapters follow the lives of their grandson, Jiten, and granddaughter, Geeta, as well as their extended families, including Geeta's husband, Ashok, and Jiten's wife, Mita. The intertwined stories highlight both daily and significant events in the lives of the families and their friends while shedding light on the political and racial discrimination they faced as immigrants.

I found this historical fiction collection to be well-written and educational. The author did an excellent job of using well-developed characters to show the story versus telling it. Despite the intensity related to the subject matter, the author managed to keep the reader engaged while shedding light on harsh injustices. Additionally, he maintained a sense of balance through the close family relationships conveyed through the stories.

What I liked most about this historical collection was the author's skillful intertwining of the characters' lives in the various stories spanning the years. Each chapter began with the date and the names of the characters involved or the location of the story. Whether related as an extended family member or one of their acquaintances, the author used the intertwined relationships between characters to establish continuity and propel the plot. I'm not sure if it was the author's intention, but I found myself anticipating how the characters in one story might be related to another. Since I'm not really a history buff, this added more of a personal connection to the historical content which kept my interest piqued. I also appreciated the glossary of Indian words at the end of the book that included many familial terms of endearment. I would suggest readers start there before reading the book to clarify words that appear similar to English but have quite different meanings. For instance, "Dada" is a reference to an elder brother.

I'm pleased to rate this informative book 4 out of 4 stars. I believe it was professionally edited, as I noted a single error. I honestly can’t highlight any areas for improvement. As evidenced by my personal enjoyment of the book, one doesn't need to be partial to history to appreciate this collection. I recommend it to readers who enjoy stories about different countries, cultures, and politics. Though not graphic in nature, please note there are references to beatings, suicides, and some content-related profanity.

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Indian Immigrant
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Julie Green
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Post by Julie Green » 06 Oct 2018, 12:15

This sounds like an excellent book. I love to read about different cultures, especially those of which I have limited experience. Your review brings the book to life beautifully and makes me want to read it even more.
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Post by Ruba Abu Ali » 06 Oct 2018, 13:05

I appreciate a horizon broadening book that tackles other cultures. I will add it to my reading list. Thanks for the recommendation and for the charming review. :tiphat:

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Post by Debjani Ghosh » 06 Oct 2018, 13:21

For instance, "Dada" is a reference to an elder brother.
Yes, it's a Bengali word and being an Indian and a Bengali myself, I think I will enjoy this book. Thanks for the review! :)

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Post by Cecilia_L » 06 Oct 2018, 13:40

Julie Green wrote:
06 Oct 2018, 12:15
This sounds like an excellent book. I love to read about different cultures, especially those of which I have limited experience. Your review brings the book to life beautifully and makes me want to read it even more.
Thank you, Julie. I hope you enjoy it.

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Post by Cecilia_L » 06 Oct 2018, 13:41

Ruba Abu Ali wrote:
06 Oct 2018, 13:05
I appreciate a horizon broadening book that tackles other cultures. I will add it to my reading list. Thanks for the recommendation and for the charming review. :tiphat:
Thank you, Ruba. :coffee3-smiley:

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Post by Cecilia_L » 06 Oct 2018, 13:43

Debjani Ghosh wrote:
06 Oct 2018, 13:21
For instance, "Dada" is a reference to an elder brother.
Yes, it's a Bengali word and being an Indian and a Bengali myself, I think I will enjoy this book. Thanks for the review! :)
Yes, the collection includes many stories featuring the Bengalis. I think you will enjoy it. :tiphat:

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Post by Caylie_Cat » 06 Oct 2018, 23:48

This sounds like a very interesting book that presents the true situations immigrants find themselves in, but weaving them into stories makes history much easier to digest and remember. Great review!

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Post by Noraine Alissa Poria » 07 Oct 2018, 01:10

Your review is really great, you made the book really interesting and I would love to read this book. I have a friend who used to be an immigrant and I would like to read a book that will make me understand her more.

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Post by Kajori50 » 07 Oct 2018, 04:48

I love reading historical fiction. Also being a Bengali, I think this book will be an interesting read for me.

Thank you for the great review.

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Post by Cecilia_L » 07 Oct 2018, 07:46

Caylie_Cat wrote:
06 Oct 2018, 23:48
This sounds like a very interesting book that presents the true situations immigrants find themselves in, but weaving them into stories makes history much easier to digest and remember. Great review!
Thank you, Caylie.

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Post by Cecilia_L » 07 Oct 2018, 07:47

Noraine Alissa Poria wrote:
07 Oct 2018, 01:10
Your review is really great, you made the book really interesting and I would love to read this book. I have a friend who used to be an immigrant and I would like to read a book that will make me understand her more.
Thanks for your comment, Noraine.

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Post by Cecilia_L » 07 Oct 2018, 07:48

Kajori50 wrote:
07 Oct 2018, 04:48
I love reading historical fiction. Also being a Bengali, I think this book will be an interesting read for me.

Thank you for the great review.
I think you will enjoy reading the stories featuring Bengali history. I appreciate your comment.

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Post by Cecilia_L » 07 Oct 2018, 07:49

Florence Collins wrote:
07 Oct 2018, 05:03
"I found this historical fiction collection to be well-written and educational. The author did an excellent job of using well-developed characters to show the story versus telling it." Thoughtful deduction. I enjoyed reading your review.Excellent choice of words.
Thank you, Florence.

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Post by melissy370 » 07 Oct 2018, 15:48

This is definitely a part of history I don't know about. I would be interested in reading this book. Thanks for your review.

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