Official Review: The Elephant Chaser's Daughter

Please use this sub-forum to discuss any non-fiction books such as autobiographies or political commentary books.
Forum rules
You must limit each topic thread in this section to only one book or only one series. Make the title of the topic the name of the book, and if possible also include the author's name. If you want to allow spoilers, you must include the word spoilers in the title of the topic, otherwise spoilers are prohibited.
Post Reply
User avatar
lavellan
Posts: 363
Joined: 25 Dec 2017, 17:40
2018 Reading Goal: 100
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 34
Currently Reading: Jane Eyre
Bookshelf Size: 47
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-lavellan.html
Latest Review: The Blue Barricade by Kesten E. Harris

Official Review: The Elephant Chaser's Daughter

Post by lavellan » 10 Jun 2018, 13:42

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "The Elephant Chaser's Daughter" by Shilpa Raj.]
Book Cover
4 out of 4 stars
Share This Review


The Elephant Chaser’s Daughter by Shilpa Raj is a memoir about the author’s life in India. The opening scene describes the anguish and shock that Shilpa feels when she discovers that her younger sister Kavya has committed suicide. The book then proceeds to tell the details of Shilpa’s life in chronological order to explain the events that led up to this tragedy. At a young age, Shilpa was recruited to be a student at Shanti Bhavan, a non-profit school, where she would receive a solid education. While this opened new opportunities for Shilpa, it also led to a strong divide between Shilpa and the culture she grew up in.

I was thoroughly impressed by Raj’s storytelling abilities. She was able to effortlessly express the emotions and motivations of her large cast. I also greatly enjoyed the realism of her characters. Raj did not shy away from describing her own flaws and those of her family. For example, Shilpa’s father, or Appa, was a complex individual. He struggled with alcoholism and continuously cheated on Shilpa’s mother. Despite his flaws, Appa was the one who recognized the value of Shilpa obtaining a good education and pushed her to try her best. I also enjoyed the dichotomy between Shilpa’s school and home life. Shilpa and her family lived in a village named Thattaguppe. Thattaguppe was deeply rooted in tradition. This served as a wedge between Shilpa and her family at times. One conflict that arose between Shilpa and her grandmother dealt with the expectation that Shilpa would marry her uncle. This completely went against the morals that Shilpa was learning at Shanti Bhavan. I found myself on the edge of my seat hoping that Shilpa would be able to stay true to herself while still maintaining a loving relationship with her family.

In terms of faults, there were only two issues I had with the book. I had some difficulties keeping up with the names of Shilpa’s family. Since her extended family lived in the same village and, at times, house as Shilpa, there were a lot of names to remember. Additionally, I felt that not enough time was spent on developing Kavya and Shilpa’s brother Francis. Even though one of the main purposes of the book was to explain the contrast between Shilpa and Kavya, Kavya never was highlighted enough where I could get a firm grasp on her character. This issue also was seen to a greater extent with Francis. However, this could have been intentional. Kavya and Francis were often pushed to the side by Shilpa’s family as they were the younger siblings. As only one child from each family could attend Shanti Bhavan, not as much value was placed on Kavya and Francis. Not devoting as much time to the two siblings could have been Raj’s way of demonstrating how they were forgotten by both herself and her family.

I only noted one error while reading The Elephant Chaser’s Daughter. This involved the use of litters instead of liters. The book was well edited and seemed as if it had underwent professional editing.

I rate The Elephant Chaser’s Daughter 4 out of 4 stars. The memoir artfully describes the struggles of the author and emphasizes the importance of education. The issues I noted were not serious enough to detract from my enjoyment of the novel. I would recommend this book to readers interested in India and the struggles the poor and women must face there. Suicide is discussed in detail within the book. Audiences who are sensitive to the subject may be disturbed by this.

******
The Elephant Chaser's Daughter
View: on Bookshelves | on Amazon

Like lavellan's review? Post a comment saying so!

User avatar
Lunastella
Posts: 283
Joined: 27 Apr 2018, 16:22
2018 Reading Goal: 100
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 9
Currently Reading: Reconstructing Amelia
Bookshelf Size: 502
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-lunastella.html
Latest Review: Concealment by Rose Edmunds

Post by Lunastella » 12 Jun 2018, 06:53

Very complete review, thank you. This book sounds great! I enjoy memoirs and I like getting into the real struggles of different cultures, Indian, in this case. I can identify with the clash in Shilpa´s life between tradition and moving forward and I´m very much interested in the suicide topic.
I´ll be adding to my shelves.

User avatar
Aanu John
Posts: 1
Joined: 12 Jun 2018, 07:20
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 10

Post by Aanu John » 12 Jun 2018, 07:25

This is motivating enough. Nice one.

User avatar
kandscreeley
Special Discussion Leader
Posts: 5589
Joined: 31 Dec 2016, 20:31
2018 Reading Goal: 115
2017 Reading Goal: 100
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 69
2017 Reading Goal Completion: 94
Currently Reading: End of the Last Great Kingdom
Bookshelf Size: 208
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-kandscreeley.html
Latest Review: Violent Leadership by Wesley Middleton

Post by kandscreeley » 12 Jun 2018, 07:56

Wow! Your review is very compelling. It sounds like quite the story. I can't even imagine having a younger sister commit suicide. Thanks for the well-written review and great story.
“There is no friend as loyal as a book.”
― Ernest Hemingway

User avatar
SamSim
Posts: 491
Joined: 02 Apr 2018, 10:51
2018 Reading Goal: 100
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 21
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 179
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-samsim.html
Latest Review: Zertone by Amanda K. Rivers
Reading Device: B00IKPYKWG

Post by SamSim » 12 Jun 2018, 08:26

I enjoy memoirs and this one sounds engaging. I have recently read a very saddening book about suicide and its ripple effects, so I'm interested to read about this woman's life in the wake of losing her sister. I think people in general really underestimate the value of their own life story. Great review!
Samantha Simoneau

“But upon the stage of life, while conscience claps, let the world hiss! On the contrary if conscience disapproves, the loudest applauses of the world are of little value."
~John Adams :greetings-clapyellow:

User avatar
KristyKhem
Posts: 239
Joined: 20 Feb 2018, 13:22
2018 Reading Goal: 75
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 77
Favorite Book: Carmela
Currently Reading: At Zero
Bookshelf Size: 61
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-kristykhem.html
Latest Review: Under the Birch Tree by Nancy Chadwick

Post by KristyKhem » 12 Jun 2018, 10:10

Sounds like an excellent read! The story reminded me of the first book I read on this site - it was called Elastic Girl and was also an Indian story. That one also kept me on the edge of my seat. Thanks for your review, I will check out The Elephant Chaser's daughter sometime.

User avatar
gen_g
Posts: 974
Joined: 22 Apr 2018, 10:31
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 40
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-gen-g.html
Latest Review: Best Evidence by Mark S. Osaki

Post by gen_g » 12 Jun 2018, 10:42

Thanks for the detailed review! This sounds like a fascinating read, as it discusses sensitive issues without shying away from it.

User avatar
Ever_Reading
Posts: 237
Joined: 22 Apr 2018, 10:01
2018 Reading Goal: 50
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 42
Favorite Book: A Thousand Splendid Suns
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 72
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-ever-reading.html
Latest Review: Play Sgt. Pepper One More Time by Chuck Wanager
Reading Device: B00JG8GOWU

Post by Ever_Reading » 12 Jun 2018, 13:15

Your review has me sold! But something tells me it would be best to have a box of tissues close by when I read this book. Good job!
Here’s to books, the cheapest vacation you can buy.
— Charlaine Harris :techie-studyingbrown:

User avatar
Sahani Nimandra
Bookshelves Moderator
Posts: 1292
Joined: 27 Nov 2017, 22:49
2018 Reading Goal: 100
2017 Reading Goal: 5
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 103
2017 Reading Goal Completion: 5
Favorite Book: Harry Potter and The Sorceress Stone
Currently Reading: This Nearly Was Mine: A Novel
Bookshelf Size: 422
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-sahani-nimandra.html
Latest Review: The Embalmer by Vincent Zandri
Reading Device: Huawei

Post by Sahani Nimandra » 13 Jun 2018, 05:51

A typical indian story that reflects the deep root of culture and traditions in indian villages that exists till this day. It's certainly an eye opener to a lot people, and for anyone who is interested in learning cultural diversity. Thank you for sharing your review!
Reading gives us someplace to go when we have to stay where we are :techie-studyingbrown: - Mason Cooley

User avatar
melissa_h
Posts: 5
Joined: 29 May 2018, 03:22
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 4
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-melissa-h.html
Latest Review: A Second, Less Capable Head by James Hanna

Post by melissa_h » 14 Jun 2018, 06:27

Sounds like a fantastic read, with a brilliant review to go with it! Delving into different cultures and opening up characters is fascinating. Thank you for the review!

User avatar
ParadoxicalWoman
Posts: 546
Joined: 25 Oct 2017, 06:42
2018 Reading Goal: 100
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 29
Currently Reading: Heartaches 3
Bookshelf Size: 273
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-paradoxicalwoman.html
Latest Review: Apollo's Raven by Linnea Tanner

Post by ParadoxicalWoman » 14 Jun 2018, 19:59

Another memoir to my ever increasing tbr list. Good review!
"Read in order to live." ~Gustave Flaubert
"Fiction reveals truths that reality obscures." ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

User avatar
strawberrysab
Posts: 319
Joined: 10 Apr 2018, 06:09
2018 Reading Goal: 20
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 55
Currently Reading: The Keeper of Lost Things
Bookshelf Size: 160
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-strawberrysab.html
Latest Review: Maddy's Wings by Jan porter

Post by strawberrysab » 19 Jun 2018, 06:26

If the cover and title alone weren't enough to catch my attention immediately, your wonderful review convinced me that I will love this book. I'm adding it to my shelves! Thanks!
Berry :wine:

User avatar
Nimat87
Posts: 145
Joined: 29 Mar 2018, 04:36
2018 Reading Goal: 20
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 30
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 32
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-nimat87.html
Latest Review: Cold Serial: The Jack the Strangler Murders by Brian E. Forschner
Reading Device: B00JG8GOWU

Post by Nimat87 » 22 Jun 2018, 00:35

Thanks for the well-written review! This sounds like a very engaging read. I hope the book gave more insight into Kavya's suicide though.
'We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit. '
-Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy (1926).
:eusa-think: :clap: :escribir:

User avatar
Julie Green
Posts: 399
Joined: 31 May 2018, 17:36
2018 Reading Goal: 25
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 64
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 41
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-julie-green.html
Latest Review: The Greatest Treason by Fiorentino Ferri

Post by Julie Green » 03 Jul 2018, 15:37

Nice review. I have read very few, if any, books set in India, so I will consider reading this one on the basis of this review. Thanks!

User avatar
Ana-Maria-Diana
Posts: 210
Joined: 20 Sep 2017, 05:55
2018 Reading Goal: 50
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 8
Currently Reading: Lover Revealed
Bookshelf Size: 54
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-ana-maria-diana.html
Latest Review: Serendipity Mystery: Diary of a Snoopy Cat by R.F. Kristi

Post by Ana-Maria-Diana » 08 Jul 2018, 01:42

The book is like a piece of India. The scenes and characters seem very real and that is what makes it beautiful.

Post Reply

Return to “Non-Fiction Books”