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cook*create*read: Review: The Village by Nikita Lalwani

Thursday, April 04, 2013

Review: The Village by Nikita Lalwani

The Village by Nikita Lalwani
Publisher: Random House
Publication Date:  9 July 2013
My Rating:  3/5

The Village follows a small BBC film crew as they attempt to make a documentary about an open prison in India, where the inmates (who are all guilty of murder) live with their families and are allowed to work outside the confines of the prison.  The scene is set in the opening pages beautifully, with vivid descriptions of the hot, dusty village.  The snapshots and vignettes of village life are fascinating and intriguing. 

As the story develops, the main characters reveal themselves to be fairly unlikeable.  Ray, the main protaganist, has some strong moral and ethical beliefs, but fails to make herself heard above the outspoken Serena, and the attempt to redeem herself in the conclusion feels rushed and anti-climactic.  

I had high hopes for this storyline.  The concept of an open prison built on trust is an interesting premise, and the ethical dilemmas encountered by the film crew are real and troubling.  It is well-written but tends to skim the surface rather than delve deeper into the issues, resulting in a somewhat underwhelming though thought provoking novel.  

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