A Disobedient Girl: A Novel

A Disobedient Girl: A Novel

by Ru Freeman
4.5 7

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A Disobedient Girl 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
harstan More than 1 year ago
In Colombo, Sri Lanka, recently orphaned five year old Latha Kumari is taken in by the wealthy Vithanages family as an unpaid except for room and board companion and servant of their same age daughter Thara. Over the next few years, spoiled Thara treats Latha as less than nothing. As the servant's resentment grows, a communist tutor encourages her to never accept caste servitude. She also finds solace in Princess Diana's rise from nanny to popular royal. Latha is outraged when her employers refuse to give her money to buy shoes she badly needs; her revenge is to seduce Thara's intended, but unlike the soap operas that guide her, she finds her plan backfires. Biso flees from her drunken abusive spouse, her dead lover and a town of uncaring people who call her "whore" loud enough for her to hear. She races to family in the north of the country expecting haven for her and her three accompanying children across a dangerous and deadly landscape. With terrorists everywhere threatening everyone, Biso and Latha meet with one's tragedy becoming the other's salvation. Extremely timely, Ru Freeman focuses on the plight of women trying to survive in Sri Lanka where until recently the almost two decade civil war between the central government and Tiger Tamil was brutally fought with no thought for collateral damage. Relationships are keys to this super portrayal as the "owners" blithely ignore the needs of their "slave" while the teen servant is outraged by her mistreatment and lowly status. Biso in many ways is similar to Latha, but with maturity understands the plight for her and her offspring. Ms. Freeman without preaching makes a strong case that in society women tend to be the lowest while war places additional hardship on females who often end up in the excretion (from above) ooze below the food chain. Harriet Klausner
Laineys_Daughter More than 1 year ago
This is a good read once it picks up, which it really doesn't until half way through the book. This is a paralell book with alternating chapters toggling between the past and the present. A story about a young woman named Latha in the country of Sri Lanka. The past chapters are titled "Biso", who we find out almost half way through the book is the present "Latha's" mother. It's the story of how Latha came to be in her present situation, a house servant begining at the age of five. The book is titled "A Disobedient Girl" but by the end of the book having received the full weight of the story I feel sad for Latha, her family and her rag tag invented family by the end of the book. She was only disobedient to the people who felt they needed to have control over her being that they had no control over themselves. Latha, and all the characters in this book come to think of it, are examples of victims of their environmental circumstance. I found this book had a great degree of relatable sadness. The feelings one sometimes reads to escape the reader is forced to face. I believe the author does a great job at causing the reader to get emotionally involved and feel vs observe the content from a distance. Besides the fact that it started very slow (the reader almost unclear about a lot of things until the middle of the book)this is a good book with lots of topics for discussion.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed reading this book, it was definitely a page turner. Powerful yet tragic, I'd recommend it though.
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janners7 More than 1 year ago
it took me some time to get into this book, but once i did, i couldn't put it down. the plight of these women in sri lanka took me to another world. as a debut novel, this is worth the time and effort to read.