|Dancing to the Flute by Manisha Jolie Amin
Dancing to the Flute by Manisha Jolie Amin
Publisher: Atria Books
Publication Date: February 2013
Source: Atria Books via Edelweiss
Masterfully evoking the breathtaking beauty of India, Manisha Jolie Amin’s lyrical debut novel follows a young boy whose life takes an unexpected turn when he is sent to live with a reclusive but renowned musician.
Abandoned as a young child, Kalu, a cheeky street-kid, has against all odds carved out a life for himself in rural India. In the quiet village of Hastinapore, Kalu has also found friends: Bal, the solitary boy who tends to the local buffalos, and Malti, a gentle servant girl, who, with her mistress, Ganga Ba, has watched out for Kalu from the first day he wandered into the small town.
One day, perched high in the branches of a banyan tree, Kalu chooses a leaf, rolls it tightly and, as he’s done for as long as he can remember, blows through it. His pure, simple notes dance through the air and attract a traveling healer whose interest will change Kalu’s life forever, setting him on a path he would never have dreamt possible, testing his belief in himself and his sense of identity.
Richly textured and atmospheric, Dancing to the Flute is a magical, heart-warming story of a community’s joys and sorrows, the transformative powers of music, the many faces of friendship, and a boy’s journey, against all odds, to become a man.
This is a beautiful tale with a fantastic setting. I’m drawn to stories told in India. Perhaps because it’s like nothing I’ve ever known and I’m quite fascinated by other cultures. I connected with the characters and rooted for each of them throughout the whole book. I wanted all of them to escape their hardships, I wanted all of them to overcome the many obstacles in their way. And the music, oh the music! The way the author describes the lovely flute music made it come alive for me, I could almost hear it. I wholeheartedly recommend Dancing to the Flute and I’m looking forward to hearing more from Miss Jolie Amin.