A moving and largely well-reported account of love in modern India.



A Dubai-based writer follows three couples in India as they pursue romantic relationships that subvert dearly held community norms.

In a village in the northern state of Haryana, Dawinder Singh, the Sikh son of a truck driver, fell in love with his neighbor Neetu Rani, the daughter of a well-respected family in the village. When the two eloped, they sought the help of self-described “Love Commando” Sanjoy Sachdev, who swindled them out of their savings. In the western state of Maharashtra, Hindu Monika Ingle fell in love with Muslim Arif Dosani. When Monica became pregnant, she converted to Islam to secretly marry Arif and to circumvent the public comment period associated with the Special Marriages Act that would have allowed their interfaith union. On the border of Telangana and Maharashtra, Reshma Mokenwar fell in love with her distant relative Preeti Sarikela. The two women pretended to live as sisters to protect themselves from India’s homophobic legal system. The families of these couples opposed the unions largely because they could serve to disrupt systems of class, caste, and religion that are designed to safeguard hierarchies of power. “The goal of marriage is to cement those boundaries to ensure the survival of power hierarchies because we are a society that places greater emphasis on collectivism than individualism,” writes Choksi. “We derive our identities from the groups we belong to; our daily lives and our politics are arranged around them. When young people choose their own partners, we threaten order with chaos.” The author skillfully uses these human stories to highlight the dangerous trajectory of Hindu fundamentalism under the regime of current Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Her descriptions are rife with detail and, at times, truly lyrical. However, the couples’ stories end abruptly, rendering Choksi’s overall argument difficult to discern and the narrative frustratingly open-ended.

A moving and largely well-reported account of love in modern India.

Pub Date: Aug. 30, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-982134-44-0

Page Count: 272

Publisher: Atria

Review Posted Online: March 21, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2022

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The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the...


Elie Wiesel spent his early years in a small Transylvanian town as one of four children. 

He was the only one of the family to survive what Francois Maurois, in his introduction, calls the "human holocaust" of the persecution of the Jews, which began with the restrictions, the singularization of the yellow star, the enclosure within the ghetto, and went on to the mass deportations to the ovens of Auschwitz and Buchenwald. There are unforgettable and horrifying scenes here in this spare and sombre memoir of this experience of the hanging of a child, of his first farewell with his father who leaves him an inheritance of a knife and a spoon, and of his last goodbye at Buchenwald his father's corpse is already cold let alone the long months of survival under unconscionable conditions. 

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the sphere of suffering shared, and in this case extended to the death march itself, there is no spiritual or emotional legacy here to offset any reader reluctance.

Pub Date: Jan. 16, 2006

ISBN: 0374500010

Page Count: 120

Publisher: Hill & Wang

Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2006

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Thus the second most costly war in American history, whose “outcome seemed little short of a miracle.” A sterling account.


A master storyteller’s character-driven account of a storied year in the American Revolution.

Against world systems, economic determinist and other external-cause schools of historical thought, McCullough (John Adams, 2001, etc.) has an old-fashioned fondness for the great- (and not-so-great) man tradition, which may not have much explanatory power but almost always yields better-written books. McCullough opens with a courteous nod to the customary villain in the story of American independence, George III, who turns out to be a pleasant and artistically inclined fellow who relied on poor advice; his Westmoreland, for instance, was a British general named Grant who boasted that with 5,000 soldiers he “could march from one end of the American continent to the other.” Other British officers agitated for peace, even as George wondered why Americans would not understand that to be a British subject was to be free by definition. Against these men stood arrayed a rebel army that was, at the least, unimpressive; McCullough observes that New Englanders, for instance, considered washing clothes to be women’s work and so wore filthy clothes until they rotted, with the result that Burgoyne and company had a point in thinking the Continentals a bunch of ragamuffins. The Americans’ military fortunes were none too good for much of 1776, the year of the Declaration; at the slowly unfolding battle for control over New York, George Washington was moved to despair at the sight of sometimes drunk soldiers running from the enemy and of their officers “who, instead of attending to their duty, had stood gazing like bumpkins” at the spectacle. For a man such as Washington, to be a laughingstock was the supreme insult, but the British were driven by other motives than to irritate the general—not least of them reluctance to give up a rich, fertile and beautiful land that, McCullough notes, was providing the world’s highest standard of living in 1776.

Thus the second most costly war in American history, whose “outcome seemed little short of a miracle.” A sterling account.

Pub Date: June 1, 2005

ISBN: 0-7432-2671-2

Page Count: 656

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2005

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