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Book: In Custody, by Anita Desai

I’ve been very fond of Anita Desai’s writing since I read Games At Twilight back in high school. That story had such a strong impact on me because I had no idea that one could take a topic as ordinary as the game of hide and seek, and transform it into an emotional experience of being a child itself.

In Custody itself, was recommended somewhere on Reddit, and the prominent emotion of the book is helplessness. The story starts out by Deven feeling trapped and helpless due to circumstances… and it never recovers! I don’t remember the last time I read a book that made me feel so sorry about a character, not because of what they experience, but because things never become better for them. I’m not sure how many people would like a story crafted in such a way.

The writing is beautiful and soul-stirring. It isn’t always simple but it also does not feel needlessly complicated — over the years my patience for sitting through “fancy” words which express simple emotions, has disappeared. So I’d still call the book accessible.

Great story, good read. Recommended.