Book Review / Historical Fiction

Fifty Words for Rain by Asha Lemmie, Book Review

Fifty Words for Rain by Asha Lemmie, Book Review
Fifty Words for Rain by Asha Lemmie, Book Review

Fifty Words for Rain by Asha Lemmie, Book Review

Book: Fifty Words for Rain

Author: Asha Lemmie

Pages: 464

Publication: Dutton

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Snow Country by Yasunari Kawabata Book Review

I don’t know why I pick up the book, maybe its title…Fifty Words for Rain. As I love the rain  I wish to explore drizzling pages of a book about rain.

Akira frowned. “Poets? What are you on about?”
Nori looked away from the scrutiny in his gaze. “They say there’s fifty words for rain. One for each and every kind you can imagine.”

But I am sure of what keeps me moving on… word by word, phrase by phrase, sentence by sentence. I was glued to the pages, I was gulping every sound and every sense they were weaving around me like a haze, a lake of a wire wrapping me, entwining me, creating a turmoil of emotions which I cannot define but can feel or breath into.

 

“It is good for a woman to learn silence,” her mother always said. “If a woman knows nothing else, she should know how to be silent.”

Asha Lemmie, an English Literature Graduate from Boston who is actively involved in creative writing and book publishing takes us on an emotional journey through her engaging and expansive treatment of painstaking character sketching and appealing storytelling.

 Story:

Nori the illegitimate child, the secret shame of a Japanese aristocrat is pushed into the horrible darkness of life as her mother leaves her at the doorstep of her grandmother’s house to get beaten and tortured in the dark attic of the palace till her half-brother Akira, the legitimate hire of the Kamiza Family took her at his side and pawn his life to save her from the brutal torture and rescued her from the whore-house where she was sold by her grandmother in his absence.

Akira was not only her brother but everything to her as Akiko, Nori’s caretaker describes:

“She looks up at him, and never have I seen such an expression. It is one of pure and utter idolatry. It is too absolute to call it love. Love can be weakened by time or forgotten for the sake of another. Love can disappear without a cause or an explanation…” But what she wears on her face for him now cannot disappear and cannot die.”

Nori the fearful kitten, the submissive yet eager-to-know heart learnt every black chapter of life walking on the burning coal. She refused to be Alira’s friend Will’s possession. She refused to be a plaything and thrive on her maturity even when Akira died unfortunately leaving her in the face of threat. She finds her true love in her exile- her love for music and her passion for Noah, a bright young music teacher of 19. But before she is going to marry him she receives the fatal letter calling her back to Japan to perform some urgent official procedure after the death of her grandparents. When Alice tries to detain her from going back to the lion’s den she shrugs off the fear,

” I’ll fly there collect my money and come straight back.”

” One trip and I’ll never need a penny from you again.”

Ending:

Nori though mature enough cannot smell the foul game and falls into her grandmother, Yuko’s trap again. Yuko is not dead but the urgent letter is the trap to catch Nori. The lion is now old and she needs her prey near her teeth.

Akira was dead. And now to proceed with the lineage of the Kamiza family Yuko needs Nori. Nori has to marry a relative of the Kamiza family and give birth to a son who will continue the century.

Though Nori refuses at first, she fixes her mind by remembering her brother’s dream.

” I will change this family, Oiichan. I will rid it of fear and hate and fill it with humanity and love.”

 

Akira and Nori, the brother and the sister were entwined in the same web of fate.

“For the first time, she saw the vulnerability on his face. He was motherless, like her. He was fatherless, like her. He was the golden child, and she was the cursed child, but they were both caught in the same web.”

Alvina’s Verdict:

The story has something enticing, vivacious and powerful effect on me. I step into the lives of Nori, Akira, Will, Alice and others who have a robust vigilant thrust in accelerating the course of the novel. As I accompany Nori, my tension finds me in a vicious cycle of everlasting fear for the safety of Nori, Akira, and Nori’s unborn child until I reach the book’s last page. And even then, relief des do not unlash upon me. I feel so pathetically sorry for Noah, the musician who loves Nori and for the bastard boy of Nori who has to lose his father’s name to keep the lineage of the Kamiza estate.

It can be treated as a coming off age novel but in a bitter sense. Nori’s life is more than gaining maturity. It is horrible, pathetic, and hellish. Through the winding alleys of life, Nori finally reached her destination.

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munu.ruku2020@gmail.com
Hi, I'm Munmun here and welcome to my book blog. I'm an English Teacher. But more than that I love to read books and write down my thoughts. I feel we can change the world by circulating the introspections of great columnists throughout the world. You are free to contact me at munu.ruku2020@gmail.com.

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