Tiger Hills

( 8 )

Overview

As the first girl to be born into the Nachimanda family in over thirty-five years, the beautiful Devi is the object of adoration of her entire family. Spirited and strong-willed, she befriends the shy Devanna, a young boy whose mother has died in tragic circumstances. Together they grow up amidst the luscious jungles, rolling hills, and coffee plantations of Coorg in Southern India; cocooned by an extended family whose roots to this beautiful land can be traced for centuries. Their futures seem inevitably linked,...

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Tiger Hills

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Overview

As the first girl to be born into the Nachimanda family in over thirty-five years, the beautiful Devi is the object of adoration of her entire family. Spirited and strong-willed, she befriends the shy Devanna, a young boy whose mother has died in tragic circumstances. Together they grow up amidst the luscious jungles, rolling hills, and coffee plantations of Coorg in Southern India; cocooned by an extended family whose roots to this beautiful land can be traced for centuries. Their futures seem inevitably linked, but everything changes when, one night, they attend a "tiger wedding." It is there that Devi gets her first glimpse of Machu, the celebrated tiger killer and a hunter of great repute. Although she is still a child and Machu is a man, Devi vows to marry him one day. It is this love that will gradually drive a wedge between Devi and Devanna, sowing the seed of a devastating tragedy that will change the fate of all three —- an event that has unforeseen and far-reaching consequences for generations to come.

Told in rich, lyrical prose and set against the background of a changing society, TIGER HILLS is a sweeping saga about one woman's determination to live life on her own terms —- and a riveting novel about the choices we make in the name of family, nation, and love.

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Editorial Reviews

Tania James
…time and again, Mandanna steers her novel in surprising directions. More than a love story, Tiger Hills explores the hazardous side of passion and the shackling grip of memory once love has been thwarted. It also vividly evokes Coorg itself—the coffee plantations, the European settlers, the age-old clans—offering an illuminating portrait of place through six decades of social change.
—The New York Times
Publishers Weekly
Set in southern India, Mandanna's epic if overly dramatic debut follows the fortunes of two intertwined families from the late 19th century to the eve of WWII. Devanna is a young boy when his mother commits suicide, and the one person he relates to is his best friend, the lovely and adored Devi: "They became a staple sight in the village, the pale-skinned firebrand and her scrawny worshipper; if Devi had fascinated him before, Devanna now clung to her like a bedraggled puppy." But when she's 10 years old, Devi meets Devanna's adult cousin, Machu, a hero for having killed a tiger, and from that day, decides that she will marry only Machu. This childish notion becomes the driving force in her life. Years pass before she is able to arrange a meeting with Machu, but to Devi's dismay, he seems immune to her beauty. Unaware of Devi's desire, Devanna begins his medical school studies and plans a future with her. At school, though, he endures cruel hazing and he returns home a different man, which changes the course of many lives. Mandanna's sweeping saga is ambitious, engaging, and relentlessly tragic. (Mar.)
author of The Twentieth Wife and Shadow Princess Indu Sundaresan
"Set in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, Mandanna's Tiger Hills is lush with descriptions of Coorg in India. It's a novel that is sprawling, epic in scope and exquisitely crafted in details. An absorbing, thoroughly engaging read."
author of ROSES Leila Meacham
"An extraordinarily imaginative novel with prose that catches in the heart like poetry"
New York Times bestselling author of RED RIVER and Lalita Tademy
"With great skill, Sarita Mandanna inserts the reader into Southern India in the late 1800s and captivates us with her saga of a strong-willed girl making difficult choices that will change her life...I was hooked up to the very last page, and reluctant to have to leave this fascinating world."
Booklist (starred review)
"Set in Southern India at the end of the nineteenth century, Mandanna's magnificent debut follows the fortunes of two childhood friends throughout their lives...It is impossible to stop reading Mandanna's spellbinding epic."
Booklist
Set in Southern India at the end of the nineteenth century, Mandanna's magnificent debut follows the fortunes of two childhood friends throughout their lives...It is impossible to stop reading Mandanna's spellbinding epic.
Library Journal
Set on a coffee plantation in India called Tiger Hills, this first novel tells the story of the spirited Devi Nachimada. The only girl in her family for many years, Devi is adored by almost everyone, especially the young boy Devanna, and she is her father's favored, much-doted-on child. Devi uses her special status to get whatever she wants—and the one thing she knows she wants from an early age is to marry the mesmerizing and celebrated tiger killer, Machu. Devi pursues Machu steadfastly, much to the sorrow of the devoted Devanna. While Devi's scheme does not go exactly as planned, she does become a powerful force on her plantation. Spanning years and multiple locations, the novel introduces a variety of well-developed characters, and plot twists keep the reader wondering how all the drama will play out. VERDICT A great read that will have many points of discussion for any book group; highly recommended.—Leann Restaino, Girard, OH
Kirkus Reviews

Star-crossed lovers in India at the turn of the 20th century, drawn from first-time novelist Mandanna's family history.

In the lush region of Coorg in southwestern India, three interrelated noble families, the Nachimandas, Kambeymadas and Palladas, dominate a bucolic mountain valley. A flight of herons marks the birth of Devi, whom her grandmother Tayi recognizes as a special child. Similarly, herons are present when young Machu, a scion of the Kambeymadas, admiresbaby Devi'slungpower. Devi grows up with her cousin Devanna, who is adopted by her father after his mother's suicide. The two are inseparable playmates, until Devanna's burgeoning interest in botany and scholarly mien attracts a mentor, Reverend Gundert, the founder of a nearby mission school. Devi, a beauty, has a long history with Machu. At ten, she attends a tiger wedding celebrating Machu's daring conquest of a tiger. From thence Machu will be known as the "tiger killer." For years, Devi, determined to wed Machu, refuses proposals from many other suitors. Devanna, meanwhile, excels at his studies, and Gundert secures his admission to Bangalore Medical College, where he is mercilessly hazed by upperclassmen who envy his genius. Although the attraction between Machu and Devi is palpable, he won't acknowledge it because he has, to honor a Hindu god, vowed to remain celibate for 12 years. However, Devi promises to wait for him, and in the meantime they meet in the jungle for chaste but impassioned encounters. Devanna, who has always loved Devi, is driven mad when his tormentors sodomize him and murder his beloved pet. Returning home blind drunk, he rapes Devi, and her family can find no other solution than to force a marriage between them. She gives birth to a son, Nanjappa. Sworn to secrecy by Tayi, Devi cannot reveal to the devastated Machu why she broke her promise. Tragic consequences ensue, which will alter the destinies of the three clans.

Beautiful prose and delicate handling prevent this melodrama from becoming maudlin.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780670066933
  • Publisher: Pintail
  • Publication date: 8/28/2012
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 496,781
  • Product dimensions: 5.20 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 1.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Sarita Mandanna was born in Coorg, India and worked in Hong Kong before moving to the US. She is a private equity professional now based in New York City and she holds an MBA from Wharton and a PGDM from the Indian Institute of Management. TIGER HILLS is her first novel.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 8 )
Rating Distribution

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(3)

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Sort by: Showing all of 8 Customer Reviews
  • Posted March 24, 2011

    Highly recommended

    This is an awesome book. I am halfway through and don't want it to end. I love reading books about the lives of the people of India, and I sure hope this is not this authors last book, her style of writing is so beautiful to read. If you love a book that really tells a story, 400 plus pages so there is plenty of time to really create a picture of the country and its people and customs, you will love this book.

    Along with Cutting With Stone, one of my favorite books I have read so far this year and I have read lots of them.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 21, 2011

    Highly Recommended

    Highly Recommended

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 3, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    A epic love story spanning 60 years~!!

    Tiger Hills is an epic love story set in Coorg, India beginning in 1878 and spanning the next 60 years.

    Navi is the first born girl in the Nachimandas family in over six generations and she is a delight to all her know her. She is charming, beautiful, courageous and very determined. At ten years old she meets Machu, the Tiger Killer and decides she will marry no one other than he. Navi's best friend and confidante, Devanna, doesn't understand Navi's fascination with his cousin, Machu. He is determined to win Navi's love at all costs.

    They each are set upon a course where love knows no bounds and the participants are all lead to their fates by their sense of duty and honour.

    The reader is swept over the countryside of India and learn of her vast beauty from the flora and fauna to the love her people share with her lands. We learn of familys bound by honour and the rise and fall of each of their lives as each are entwined with another to bring you a beautifully written love story in which even the best course of actions never turn out the way we wish them to.

    I enjoyed the narration, the plot and the characters involved. Everything about the story was believable and you will find yourself wanting to unfold the tale that surrounds Devi and those that touch her life. I liked how strong Devi was in most situations except those concerning her heart, it was a brilliantly displayed human trait that befalls many of us and Sarita Mandanna explores these emotions in depth and does not leave you lacking. She gives enough mystery in their lives that you will feel compelled to follow them to the end and I would suggest anyone who enjoys epic romances and raw human emotion grab themselves a copy and enjoy the lives and loves of those involved.

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  • Posted May 2, 2011

    Highly Recommended - You Must Check It Out!

    Tiger Hills is a beautifully written multi-generational love story set in Coorg Region of Southern India. It is set in Colonial Period from roughly 1878-1945. The author's research must have taken years as one experiences the interactions and conflicts of interesting characters living in a traditional village through a period when tremendous historical and technological changes are taking place. Until I read Tiger Hills, my favorite works of literary fiction (which I recommended to all who will listen) were: Corelli's Mandolin, Birdsong and Atonement; Tiger Hills has been added to the list! The novel was nominated for the Asian Booker Prize in 2010, so it is a worthy and very satisfying novel!

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    Posted April 29, 2011

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    Posted August 28, 2011

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    Posted August 3, 2011

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    Posted May 2, 2011

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