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Tuesday, 24 March 2020

The Atlas of Reds and Blues. (Mindscape Reviews)



Hi Readers! Hope you all are safe & staying home! As for me, this is the 5th day of social distancing at home. Being an introvert, it isn’t so much of a problem for me to stay indoors, but I’m sure even I will crack sooner or later. Because I am at home, I have all the time in the world. My sleep schedule has gone for a toss. I keep reading a lot. I’m also watching the TV shows which I didn’t have the time to watch earlier. I’m working out in the morning. Doing all these things before & after & rarely during WFH has made me quite productive.

When it comes to my 2020 Reading Challenge, I have read 12 books so far. You can stay updated by sending me a friend request on Goodreads! I have now started reading Khaled Hosseini’s ‘And the Mountains Echoed’ & I'm also reading Delia Owens' 'Where the Crawdads Sing'. Instead of being lazy, like I was in the past 4 days, I thought I ought to write some blog posts as well. And, so here you will find the book review of Devi Laskar’s ‘The Atlas of Reds and Blues’. This is probably the shittiest book I have ever read. I had started & stopped reading it THREE TIMES before, but on the fourth try, I finally murdered the monster. Never have I been in such a complex situation where I found reading to be an absolute task!

~~GOODREADS DESCRIPTION~~
An arresting debut novel which bears witness to American racism and abuse of power, tracing one woman's shift from acquiescence to resistance.

When an unnamed narrator moves her family from the city of Atlanta to its wealthy suburbs, she discovers that neither the times nor the people have changed since her childhood in a small southern town. Despite the intervening decades, the woman, known only as The Mother, is met with the same questions: Where are you from? No, where are you really from? The American-born daughter of Bengali immigrant parents, her truthful answer, here, is never enough. She finds herself navigating a climate of lingering racism with three daughters in tow and a husband who spends more time in business class than at home.

The Mother's simmering anger breaks through one morning, when, during a baseless and prejudice-driven police raid on her house, she finally refuses to be calm, complacent, polite—and is ultimately shot. As she lies bleeding on her driveway, The Mother struggles to make sense of her past and decipher her present—how did she end up here?

Devi S. Laskar has written a brilliant debut novel novel that grapples with the complexities of the second-generation American experience, what it means to be a woman of color in the workplace, a sister, a wife, a mother to daughters in today's America. Drawing inspiration from the author's own terrifying experience of a raid on her home, The Atlas of Reds and Blues explores, in exquisite, lyrical prose, an alternate reality that might have been.
 



~~MY THOUGHTS~~
I had been wanting to read this book for a really long time. The Goodreads description sure had me impressed. I think it is time for me to not rely on Goodreads description all the time. This is the second time, it has led to me a disappointment, the first one being The Rhythm Section. I even bought both these books because they looked so promising.

Okay, so about the book. I get what the underlying message the author was trying to communicate. The second-rate judgement. The implying racism. I get it. It’s important to write on these matters. But writing about them & having a voice are two different things. The thing that most bothered me was the writing style. What Goodreads mentions as ‘lyrical prose’ is nothing but ‘lazy writing’. It is a different style for me to read, yes. But, I am very open to new styles especially when it comes to books. This one just didn’t do it for me. The story is butchered into a million parts. It is really difficult to understand the link of one thing to other: whether it’s her childhood continuation or her adulthood continuation & how it all holds up together.

After reading books like ‘The Hate U Give’ which focusses on racism toward African-Americans, it is impossible to read anything on a related matter & actually like it. The standards set in that book are high & it has become the level against which I will review similar / related books of that nature. In ‘The Atlas of Reds and Blues’, I didn’t find a single thing that will make people weep because of the cruelty of racism like it does in ‘The Hate U Give’. The Atlas of Reds and Blues is not written well enough, in all terms: novel style or prose style or metaphorical style or social matters style.
I cannot stress how difficult it was to read the book. It was pointless & failed to set a tone with the American or Indian or any reader.

~~CONCLUSION~~
I rated it at 1/5 stars on Goodreads. I haven’t rated below that because there were about 2 or 3 monologues I liked & the message is important.
I had been wanting to take this out since a lot of time & I’m glad that I finally did! I already feel a lot better! I also read a few really good books which I will review soon, I promise!

 Until next time,

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