For Maya, a young widow trying to escape her complicated past, teaching school in a secluded mountain village offers a promise of peace. Here she feels close to the calm heart of the land, where lush foothills meet clear skies. In the evenings she teaches a peasant girl, Charu, to write so she can correspond with her lover in secret. As Maya finds out, however, no refuge is remote enough to keep out the modern world, or her own past. The community she has grown to love comes under attack when powerful outsiders hijack the local elections dividing the villagers and threatening Charu's family. And when Maya's landlord's charming nephew sets up shop nearby, Maya is drawn to him despite her better instincts - and soon finds herself questioning everything she has ever known.
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by Arundhati Roy
by Arundhati Roy, John Cusack
by Sujata Massey
by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
by Joan Aiken
by Vikas Swarup
by Hendrik Willem van Loon
by Karen Southwick
by Indu Sundaresan
by Rula Jebreal
"Roy's somber and affectionately humorous tale, set in a remote Himalayan community, swells from tragedy to love to fierce protectiveness. Maya attempts to escape her recent widowhood by teaching in a secluded mountain village, only to become embroiled in divisive local elections and violent threats. Sneha Mathan's Indian accent is as rich as melted chocolate as she delivers Maya's internal musings; then her vocal range startles as she portrays the strident and high-timbre speech of girls and older women. Seeking peace in the lush landscape and simple livelihoods, Maya is foiled by both internal and external disruptions. Roy's tender story creates a sensory experience for listeners, and Mathan's narration embraces its exquisite surroundings and inventive characters. A.W. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award (c) AudioFile 2012, Portland, Maine"
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