Nov 28, 2020
The Sleeping Dictionary
Posted by Sujata Massey

From an award winning novelist, a stunning portrait of late Raj India a sweeping saga and a love story set against a background of huge political and cultural upheaval.YOU ASK FOR MY NAME, THE REAL ONE, AND I CANNOT TELL IT IS NOT FOR LACK OF EFFORT.In 1930, a great ocean wave blots out a Bengali village, leaving only one survivor, a young girl As a maidservant in a BritFrom an award winning novelist, a stunning portrait of late Raj India a sweeping saga and a love story set against a background of huge political and cultural upheaval.YOU ASK FOR MY NAME, THE REAL ONE, AND I CANNOT TELL IT IS NOT FOR LACK OF EFFORT.In 1930, a great ocean wave blots out a Bengali village, leaving only one survivor, a young girl As a maidservant in a British boarding school, Pom is renamed Sarah and discovers her gift for languages Her private dreams almost die when she arrives in Kharagpur and is recruited into a secretive, decadent world Eventually, she lands in Calcutta, renames herself Kamala, and creates a new life rich in books and friends But although success and even love seem within reach, she remains trapped by what she is and is not As India struggles to throw off imperial rule, Kamala uses her hard won skills for secrecy, languages, and reading the unspoken gestures of those around her to fight for her country s freedom and her own happiness.

  • Title: The Sleeping Dictionary
  • Author: Sujata Massey
  • ISBN: 9781476703169
  • Page: 296
  • Format: Paperback
  • The Sleeping Dictionary From an award winning novelist a stunning portrait of late Raj India a sweeping saga and a love story set against a background of huge political and cultural upheaval YOU ASK FOR MY NAME THE REAL ON

    Kathy

    To say that I fell in love with this book is not an exaggeration It is one of the most beautifully written, soulful stories that I ve had the pleasure to read There are those books that are so special, so captivating, that you know it will forever be a part of you, and you will be perpetually indebted to is author for its creation Where were the Pulitzer people last year when this book was published Sujat Massey knows how to start a book, end a book, and, so importantly, how to include the perfe [...]


    Aditi

    I always feel so ecstatic and proud whenever I get to read books about my own old city Kolkata a city where I was born, a city which I call Home Well I was born inCalcutta and grew up inKolkata The Nawabs and the British coined Calcutta as The City of Palaces But this proverb changed during the reign of Queen Victoria, and thus Calcutta changed to the sprawling, bustling capital of India Dennison Berwick has quoted in his book,A Walk along the Ganges There is poverty there is squalor in so many [...]


    Mathis Bailey

    Engrossing and fascinating read This book reminded me of Memoir of a Geisha, but set in India I had no idea during the 1930 s that there were prostitutes in India that were referred to as Sleeping Dictionaries these young women spoke impeccable English and were well cultured, which separated them from regular prostitutes They helped British men, who did not speak the native tongue, negotiate deals with Indian dignitaries, hence how their name came about Interesting right I have to admit though, [...]


    Sandi *~The Pirate Wench~*

    Setting 1925 1947 IndiaAs the only survivor of a tidal wave that destroys her village, Pom is taken away by her rescuers to a school where she is then renamed Sarah and given a job as a servant Pom Sarah is smart and learns first by listening and then by reading However,when her dearest friend dies, she is once on her own Sarah then moves to Kharagpur hoping to become a teacher, but is lured into a life of prostitution and is now known as Pamela She survives because of her involvement in the bu [...]


    KOMET

    THE SLEEPING DICTIONARY is one of the best novels I ve had the pleasure of reading this year Sujata Massey, also known for her Rei Shimura mystery novels, is fast becoming one of my favorite writers This is a rich, multi layered, intense, thrilling story centered on the life of a young woman from West Bengal during the latter days of the British Raj She began her life as Pom in a small village that was wiped out by an ocean wave, leaving her to cling to life on the highest rung of a lowly tree t [...]


    dely

    2,5Il personaggio principale e le sue vicissitudini non sono credibili Seguiamo la sua vita da quando una bambina e perde la famiglia per colpa di un inondazione Sembra una povera Cenerentola a cui per alla fine tutto va bene quando si trova in una brutta situazione riesce sempre a cavarsela come se avesse una buona stella a proteggerla sempre forte, decisa e fortunata Da adulta ancora non ha capito che le bugie hanno le gambe corte, ma anche questa volta tutto si conclude con il lieto fine Non [...]


    Jean

    A whopping 528 pages of reading pleasure.In 1930, Pom, a ten year old girl is left an orphan when a huge wave washes her entire village away It relates her struggles from this time until she is around 18 years old, The book ends with, Pom, an adult, who joins in the political struggle for India to become n independent nation.This book was well worth the time spent reading it Props to Sujata Massey.


    Cora

    I really like Sujata Massey s Rei Shimura series, so I had high hopes for this I didn t love it, sadly, but it was a pretty good book It takes place in a very interesting time and place, and the storyline kept me reading I was not as caught up as I would have liked, though I found the main character very formal, and while I know that that was most likely the author s intention, it meant that I felt removed from her even though the story is told in the first person I found her almost unbelievably [...]


    Amulya Malladi

    An elegant novel about a woman s journey from the villages of India through a brothel to the fight for Indian independence Enchanting


    Malacorda

    Acquistato anni fa, Dio solo sa il perch , e cosa strana non ricordo nemmeno dove Discreto lavoro di rivisitazione di alcuni classici che vengono qui innestati in un contesto inusuale leggendo i ringraziamenti si deduce che il libro abbia comportato un corposo lavoro di ricerca, il risultato in ogni caso una lettura abbastanza leggera e decisamente in rosa, con qualche concessione al luogo comune e tuttavia non sciocca, piacevolissime atmosfere esotiche nell India degli anni 30 e 40 il lato nega [...]


    Andrea

    I was enthralled and engaged with this story from the first page to the last The Sleeping Dictionary is one of those books that will stay with me and continue to live in my heart and imagination I look forward to reading the next book in the Daughters of Bengal stories Pom is a survivor who it seems can reinvent herself over and over in order to survive and it is the story of her re invention that is so fascinating and pulls the reader into India and her life This novel is sure to become a class [...]


    Sydney O (Сидней О)

    I found this in a Japanese bookshop and the title caught my attention On a whim, I bought it.I m glad I did Once I started reading, I couldn t put it down I had to know what would happen next, and then after thatYou feel so much empathy for the main character, and you just want to see her story finish happily And, the writing was so personal and inviting Definitely a book that was well worth the find.


    Chloe

    I could not put this one down Ms Massey got me with her Tokyo series and I read them with relish but this title was a non stop joy Woven with so many colors and textures and each one truly unique creating a can t put it down history of a remarkable character I would like to know how she is doing.


    Helen

    I loved this book the story, the writing, the history and the strength of character of one woman through all of it Set in India prior to and during WWII and Indian independence, the story follows an orphaned Indian girl and her relationships with the ruling British I couldn t put it down and pulled an all nighter to finish it


    Louise

    Story Description Gallery Books August 20, 2013 Trade Paperback ISBN 978 1 4767 0316 9YOU ASK FOR MY NAME THE REAL ONE, AND I CANNOT TELL IT IS NOT FOR LACK OF EFFORT In 1930, a great ocean wave blots out a Bengali village, leaving only one survivor, a young girl As a maidservant in a British boarding school, Pom is renamed Sarah and discovers her gift for languages Her private dreams almost die when she arrives in Kharagpur and is recruited into a secretive, decadent world Eventually, she lands [...]


    Radhika

    Pom was a girl of twelve from a very small village of Jholpur in West Bengal She loses her whole family to a cyclone In this tumultous scenario she escapes being sold and is taken to an English school where she does menial jobs around the school She learns to read and write by herself and is introduced to the world of books She meets a rich girl from her village to whose family her mother used to sell broomsThe friendship leads to lot of opportunities to learning and dreaming of a good life But [...]


    Marie

    mariesbookgarden.As a long time Sujata Massey fan, I was anxious to get my hands on her latest novel, and it did not disappoint Sujata Massey was born in England to parents from India and Germany just like my friend Nandita , and she grew up mostly in Minnesota After working as a reporter, she spent several years in Japan where she taught, studied, and began writing her first novel, The Salaryman s Wife That first novel grew into a detective series with smart, industrious, and savvy Rei Shimura, [...]


    Leksa

    I absolutely loved this It was completely engrossing, an epic tale, and inspired me to want to learn about the Indian freedom movement I was so engaged with the characters The writing and story are wonderful, and for audiobook fans, the narrator was excellent hearing all the names pronounced correctly really added to my enjoyment of the story.


    Megan

    As a fan of Sujata Massey s Rei Shimura contemporary mystery series, I ve been eagerly awaiting the release of The Sleeping Dictionary since I heard about it This book which will hopefully become the first in a second fabulous series is historic fiction set at the end of the Raj period in India around the time of World War II It tells the tale of a poor, illiterate girl from Bengal and is full of up s and down s as she makes the journey to womanhood Her name changes from Pom to Sarah to Pamela t [...]


    Anita

    How much do I love this book I will try to explain it a bit The story is so beautifully told I will carry it in my heart for a long time to come.I felt a connection to Pom from the very beginning I wanted her to be safe and happy I worried about her when she was falsely accused in Lockwood and when her dire circumstances and naivete led her into the sweet trap of Rose Villa Through it all, she was determined and brave How heartbreaking to have no other choice but to leave your child with others [...]


    Meg - A Bookish Affair

    4.5 stars The Sleeping Dictionary is a sweeping historical fiction tale about a young woman trying to find her way in India during a time of great change in that particular country Kamala called by many other names in the book knows that she truly has the odds stacked against her at so many stages in her life This book is her story and it is truly a treat.Standing at almost 500 pages, this book about one person s life could have gone awry by simply becoming overwhelming and perhaps too drawn out [...]


    Lilisa

    Beginning in 1930 during colonial India and running through its independence, the novel tells the story of Pom, Sarah and Kamala various names for the main character With the twists and turns of fate, she is snatched from her carefree childhood in a Bengali village when a tsunami destroys her home and family Left destitute she becomes a maidservant in a boarding school, a prostitute in an upscale brothel and then, by sheer luck, becomes a library clerk to a British government official With color [...]


    Donna

    This was a great historical fiction story It was one little girl s journey in India, defying a natural disaster, as well as man made disasters She defied bad luck and bad decisions She did what she had to do to survive She followed her heart She took giant leaps of faith and worked hard to get what she wanted even when she wasn t sure if it was possible It was also a time when India was fighting for its independence I found that part of the story equally compelling.The author did a beautiful job [...]


    Judith Borger

    I was in a writers group with Sujata Massey, the author, when she was in the earliest pages of the manuscript than four years ago I so loved the first pages that I was eager to read the final when it was out Well, I just finished it, and loved it Sleeping Dictionary is the story of a girl of lowest caste in India who loses her family in a monsoon in the 1930s Her special talent for reading and writing and her love of books guide the choices she makes for the next 20 years or so, which happen to [...]


    Holly

    I knew very little about India s history before reading this, and it s definitely inspired me to learn and even planted the bug to travel there one day The dialogue was really stilted, though, and the often too prim writing went off the rails a few times And for a barely educated girl of 18, the main character was a little too perceptive about current events I didn t buy it.


    Megan

    This book was spectacular I started reading it yesterday and I could not put it down I love the heroine and I admire her strength and courage It was awesome and inspiring to watch her grow through the novel I cannot wait to read work by this author


    Diana Green

    There was much to appreciate about this novel, including the overall quality of the writing and the interesting setting My main complaint is that the plot relied too heavily on chance encounters and long drawn out misunderstandings The heroine, while mostly likeable, at times seemed unbelievably naive and at other times she was presented as emotionally intuitive and wise Because of this her character felt contrived and inconsistent This was an early book by Sujata Massey, and I believe her skill [...]


    Susan

    This is quite a saga Narrated by a young girl from a rural coastal Hindu village who watches from high in a tree as the monsoon rains cause a giant wall of ocean to wipe out everyone and everything she has ever known, Pom Sarah Kamala embarks on a trek to survive and is helped along the way by a Muslim family Her many misadventures through the years are Dickensian at times, think Oliver Twist and perhaps a bit of Tom Jones thrown in, but without the humor This is India during the rumblings for I [...]


    Patty

    I enjoy Massey s Japanese mysteries and this got good reviews, so I tried it Skillfully written, rich in background regarding the Indian independence movement coupled with the touching story of a poor girl trying to make her way against all odds If I had any criticism, it would be that the independent movement portions were a bit too detailed for the rest of the story if one had no prior knowledge of the politicians involved Gandhi and Nehru, yes, but the other leaders and the political parties, [...]


    Divya Pawar

    Enjoyed reading this book It s a historical fiction set during the freedom fight of our country A well told story with detailed historical political background that dosen t overtake the story and leave you confused or bored There is sadness, tragedy, joy, and finally love and triumph There is everything in this saga to keep you turning the pages and to root for the protagonist, Pom, who never gives up Highly recommend for fans of historical settings in India It s a 468 page book but really capti [...]



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