I stumbled across a book recco on Twitter that suggested The Sleepwalker’s Guide To Dancing. The title was intriguing enough for me to pull the Amazon listing. That the author’s name sounded Indian was enough to make me read the blurb and the reviews. I hopped over to my library’s online portal to place a hold and was surprised when it said I was next in line.
The book begins with a prologue that takes you right into the Eapen’s home. The characters are introduced in turn and before you know it, you are traveling with Amina as her mind takes her on journeys to her father’s homeland and back. You sit back and enjoy as she paints the arid earth of New Mexico and the moisture laden Seattle. Even as you settle in and think you know where the book is taking you, you are shaken as she is as life hands out one blow after another. Yet, you journey through it all because you want to.
You are part of the family as they grapple with the unknown. You are sitting there with Amina, Akhil and Dimple smoking as Sanji Auntie bears in. You wince as Jamie shows up unannounced at Amina’s home. You sit with bated breath in the doctor’s office as the test results come in. You hold your breath and weep unabashedly when it is all over.
The power of her writing is such that you do not read the story. You are a part of it. I am not sure if it is because I am Indian that the nuances of sibling relationships so fraught with angst, envy and emotion hit me square in my gut, but every situation she paints rings with authenticity.
Long after I finished reading the book, the characters stayed in my mind. Most times after I finish a book, I remember passages, I relish the writing, I go back and look at the construct of the story arc. With this book, the story is all that remains in my head. Mira Jacob is an author to watch out for.
This book is a keeper.