Today I have a review of A People’s History of Heaven by Mathangi Subramanian. Thank you to Algonquin Books for the invitation to read and review! This beautiful book is available now!
A diverse group of women are living in a slum named Heaven in Bangalore, India. Heaven is a hidden building in between other fancy, new high rises in an urban area of the city.
The community of strong women calling Heaven home are mothers and daughters “left behind” by men because of the search for a male heir. The women are destitute, not knowing where their next meal will come from. On top of that, the city regularly threatens to bulldoze the slum, and they’ll have nowhere to live.
This is a beautiful tale of the unconditional love between best friends. The main characters are five such best friends, and they are each others’ biggest supporters and allies.
A People’s History of Heaven is powerful, haunting, uplifting, entrancing, and transportive. The writing is lyrical, the characterization vivid, the storytelling divine, and all the pieces come together in remarkable way. I already cannot wait for Subramanian’s next book! Reading this was an exceptional and memorable experience.
I received a complimentary copy. All opinions are my own.
Welcome to Heaven, a thirty-year-old slum hidden between brand-new high-rise apartment buildings and technology incubators in contemporary Bangalore, one of India’s fastest-growing cities. In Heaven, you will come to know a community made up almost entirely of women, mothers and daughters who have been abandoned by their men when no male heir was produced. Living hand-to-mouth and constantly struggling against the city government who wants to bulldoze their homes and build yet more glass high-rises, these women, young and old, gladly support one another, sharing whatever they can.
A People’s History of Heaven centers on five best friends, girls who go to school together, a diverse group who love and accept one another unconditionally, pulling one another through crises and providing emotional, physical, and financial support. Together they wage war on the bulldozers that would bury their homes, and, ultimately, on the city that does not care what happens to them.
This is a story about geography, history, and strength, about love and friendship, about fighting for the people and places we love–even if no one else knows they exist. Elegant, poetic, bursting with color, Mathangi Subramanian’s novel is a moving and celebratory story of girls on the cusp of adulthood who find joy just in the basic act of living.
Have you read A People’s History of Heaven, or is it on your TBR? Happy Reading! ~ Jennifer THR