Another Country by Anjali Joseph
Finished reading on February 11th, 2014
Another Country is about the life and relationships of a woman in her early twenties. Leela Ghosh has some time before the story starts graduated Cambridge University and has taken up a teaching position in Paris. As the story continues she moves back to London and later to Bombay. Throughout the book the focus is on her feelings and thoughts and relationships with men.
Although in every city Leela has a boyfriend her relationships with them always have something missing, and she’s doesn’t seem to be really comfortable with it. This and the changing locations and descriptions of where Leela lives make the book rather sad and depressing, even though there might be a description of the sun shining through the window it still leaves the feeling that it’s cloudy and dark (or maybe it’s just the weather here).
What I liked most about it is that although it’s about relationships, it’s not a romance, it’s more about the small things and mistakes in relationships that will eventually surface and destroy it – not wanting to commit, not being over the previous guy, the boyfriends slightly odd mother.
It’s also about trying to find a place to belong, not finding it and having to constantly move on.
My favourite scene in the book happens in Paris, when Leela is in a guy’s apartment (she’s just recently met him) and he asks if she wants a drink. And Leela asks for tea. And as the guy is making her tea in the kitchen she picks up a book from the coffee table, which is a collection of photographs of doorways. A few moments later, the guy with the tea arrives, the tea is too hot and she puts it on the table. Other things ensue… and Leela and the guy are about to go to the bedroom…
“Leela followed him, turning at the door to look at her abandoned mug of tea.”
For some reason I just love it, and not because I love tea, maybe it’s only because of the way I see it in my imagination.
In my opinion it’s a really good book, although considering the low rating it has on goodreads.com, it might only be because I could relate to her, as she seemed to be in a sort of continuous haze of confusion…