The Sleeping Dictionary

The Sleeping Dictionary

Book - 2007
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The term "sleeping dictionary" was coined for young Indian women who slept with British men and educated them in the ways of India. Set between 1925 and the end of World War II, The Sleeping Dictionary is the story of Kamala, born to a peasant family in West Bengal, who makes her way to Calcutta of the 1930s. Haunted by a forbidden love, she is caught between the raging independence movement and the British colonial society she finds herself inhabiting. This portrait of late Raj India is both a saga and a passionate love story.
Publisher: Dreamscape Media LLC, 2007.
Edition: Unabridged
ISBN: 9781624067150
Branch Call Number: eAudio
Additional Contributors: Axis 360 (Firm)


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Nov 26, 2019

Another hit from Beautifully written story that left me craving more from Sujata Massey. Stunning portrayal of early 20th century British ruled India. My heart ached for lead character, Kamala's trial and sufferings, then leaped with joy and encouragement in her successes. I can't wait for Mrs. Massey to write more Indian historical fiction.

Jun 02, 2019

This was an excellent story to read. Very moving and emotional. Felt the ending was a bit rushed, and a bit too neat, but otherwise so worth the wait to read it! I'll be reading more of Massey's books in the near future.

Great way to get some background on pre WWII India up to the time of independence. Of course the heroine escaped death too many times to be realistic but she needed to survive to tell the story of India through the life of a low-born peasant orphaned by a tsunami through to learning English as a servant in a boarding school then on to the brothel system in British India and the dysfunctional government in India leading to its independence. I learned a lot and the writing is intelligent and entertaining. I was daunted by the Indian glossary at the front of the book but it is totally not necessary as the Indian words are easy to parse in context. And I did try the rice recipe at the end of the book.

Oct 04, 2015

I so enjoyed this book because of the strong character of Pom. Her strength and intelligence makes the journey through this time in history hopeful in the face of overwhelming odds.
A rewarding read.

Nov 18, 2013

I read about this book in the Mpls Star Trib and immediately put it on hold. It was definitely worth the wait. Massey creates a strong female character who withstands more adversity than most people could handle. Although I am not quite finished with the book, I love that our protagonist takes on roles which were always dominated by males. Typhoons, tidal waves, orphaned, and a survivor. Wow.


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