Evening Is the Whole Day by Preeta Samarasan

evening is the whole daySet in Ipoh, Malaysia, Evening is the Whole Day revolves around the Big House on Kingfisher Lane, where the wealthy Rajasekharan family have lived for several generations.  Skipping back and forth through time, the novel creates a vivid portrait of the house’s inhabitants, including Aasha, a curious six-year-old who sees ghosts as clearly as the living; her older sister Uma, desperate to escape to college in America; and Chellam, a young servant dismissed on the basis of unexplained crimes.  Filled with lush prose and a striking sense of place, each chapter of Evening is the Whole Day reveals to its readers the family’s heartbreaking and seemingly endless secrets.

Quote:
“On Kingfisher Lane the sun lies straight ahead, liquid as an egg yolk in the valley between two distant limestone hills, quivering, ready, turning the surrounding foliage to gold.  Closer and closer they draw to its beating light, and then, without warning — in the split second when Appa takes his foot off the accelerator for no clear reason — the sun looses itself, slides down into the foothills, and surges out into the street.  It brings the water in the monsoon drains to a boil and singes the whiskers of stray cats.  It crisps the ants on the asphalt and scorches the grass on the verges.  It rolls all the way down the street and finally, against the windshield of the Volvo, comes to a reluctant rest.”

Author:
Preeta Samarasan was born in Malaysia and moved to the United States while in high school.  Her writing has appeared in The Asian Literary Review, Hyphen, The Michigan Quarterly Review, and EGO Magazine, among others.  Evening is the Whole Day is her debut novel.

Published:  2008
Length:  340 pages
Set in:  Ipoh, Malaysia

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