Thursday, August 19, 2021

The Archer by Shruti Swamy


From the moment Vidya sees the dance form known as Kathak, she knows what she was meant to do with her life.  She is living in the in Bombay with her father and younger brother, her mother having died.  She is expected to run the household, cook, shop and clean but she knows there is more to her life than this.  She manages to study hard enough to get a scholarship to a school of engineering.

While she is studying to get her degree, it is her secondary priority.  Her first is always Kathak.  She practices for hours daily and goes for lessons with a renowned teacher several times a week.  The teacher encourages her to devote her life to dance and Vidya is glad to.

But life intervenes.  Moving forward, the reader encounters Vidya as a young wife, her husband another artist.  His media is photography.  He comes from a very wealthy family which has disowned him for marrying Vidya but the couple is happy.  When Vidya becomes pregnant, the family is willing to take her in.  Vidya wonders which she will put first, her child or her art?

This Swamy's first novel as her first publication was an anthology.  The text is poetic and dreamy as Vidya describes her feelings for her art, her friendships, her love for her husband and her child.  The message seems to be that each person must find the one thing in life that will bring them the most joy.  This book is recommended for readers of literary fiction.

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