Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Half Life - Roopa Farooki



Title: Half Life
Author: Roopa Farooki
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
ISBN: 9780312577902
Copyright: 2010
Pages: 258

Quick Review: 3 stars (out of 5)

Why I Read It: I am always trying to increase the amount of books I read by both female authors and non-American authors. This, as they say on 30 Rock, is a two-fer. Plus I read one of her previous books, Corner Shop, and liked it well enough.

Where I Obtained the Book: Off the new shelf at my local library

Synopsis: On the morning that changes everything, Aruna Ahmed Jones walks out of her ground-floor Victorian apartment in London wearing only jeans and a t-shirt, carrying nothing more substantial than a handbag, and keeps on walking. Leaving behind the handsome Dr. Patrick Jones, her husband of less than a year, Aruna heads to Heathrow, where she boards a plane bound for Singapore and her old life. Educated and beautiful, Aruna has a desperate need to risk it all. But why? Waiting for her is a messy past and a perfect past lover she had once abandoned without even saying goodbye – a story left unfinished – until now.

Review: One little lie to perpetrate on small cover-up. All for the sake of what is “best.” Half Life looks at the consequences of this event years later, like the butterfly causing a hurricane, the repercussions wreck havoc in the lives of the three protagonists. Each chapter alternates between our three leads, Aruna the married woman, Jazz the former boyfriend, and Hassan, Jazz’s father.

All three are stuck, both physically and mentally, in the past. They are unable to experience life at its fullest extent – thus they are living a half life. Though they have all left each other behind physically, they have been unable to move on mentally. Finally it is the words of Hassan that break the proverbial camel’s back for Aruna, and she must find resolution.

In the end this is a story of closure. Problems in our live must be resolved to be truly left behind. And when we, and we all try, just walk away from our problems they will follow us, haunt us.

The downside for me is this book at 258 pages was a little short, I would like to have had a lot more depth of character. I sort of mourn the book this could have been if fully threshed out. The structure of the chapters sort of limited that.


Author Biography: Roopa Farooki was born in Lahore, Pakistan, and brought up in London. She graduated from New College, Oxford in Philosophy, Politics and Economics and worked in advertising before writing fiction full time. Roopa now lives in Southeast England and Southwest France with her husband and two young sons, and teaches creative writing at the Canterbury Christ Chuch University masters' program.

Other Reviews:
The Independent
S. Krishna Book Reviews

FYI:
Interviews with the Author
Macmillan
Guardian

No comments:

Post a Comment

Disclaimer for all reviews sent by the publisher, publicist or author for review.

THE FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION (FTC) ISSUED NEW RULES THAT WENT INTO EFFECT ON DECEMBER 1, 2009. THESE RULES STATE THAT PRODUCT REVIEWERS ON BLOGS MUST DISCLOSE WHETHER THEY RECEIVED REVIEW PRODUCTS FOR FREE OR RECEIVED MONETARY PAYMENT FOR SUCH REVIEWS. PAYMENT IS NEVER ACCEPTED IN EXCHANGE FOR A REVIEW OR BOOK MENTION UNLESS NOTED IN THE POST. THE RECEIPT OF ARCS OR FREE REVIEW COPIES IN NO WAY INFLUENCES OR HAS AN IMPACT ON THE OPINIONS EXPRESSED IN THE BOOK REVIEWS POSTED ON THIS SITE.