Climbing the Stairs

by Padma Venkatraman

Summary: Vidya is an Indian girl growing up in Bombay during WWII. Coming from a progressive family, Vidya hopes that college is in her future instead of an arranged marriage like many of her classmates. After her father is severely injured in a riot, Vidya's life takes a dramatic turn. Her family must move in with her grandfather’s traditional household, where men and women live separately and Vidya's future dreams begin to fade. When she can, Vidya escapes upstairs to her grandfather’s library; there she meets a young man who shares her views and helps her reclaim her strength & independence.

Thoughts: This novel presents an interesting story from a unique perspective. I had not read much about India in this time period, and I learned a great deal. Vidya is a strong girl, and I loved the value she placed on books, reading & education. I hope there will be a sequel.

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