The Shreds of Character

The Shreds of Character - Jasbir S Jagdeo « This nasty world lusted for things beautiful, and it grabbed whatever it fancied . »

Brought up in world where hierarchy rules, where family honor is all, Sanju is watched and punished for every wrong step she takes.
Original summary:
People didn’t care what she heard, and it was only fair that she didn’t care what they heard. Befitting even. Somehow, it didn’t feel wrong, or disastrous. She knew enough about men now; now she knew how to squeeze happiness out of pain. Then, though her circumspect mother was proud of her and her brother belligerently loved her, they were only shreds of happiness that were not enough reparations.

But he wanted to kill her. How could she do it knowing she had a brother? Didn’t she feel guilty doing it? She thought their father couldn’t do anything. Didn’t she care how her brother would react? Had she no fear of him? That was the only solution: he couldn’t let her live.

Set in a small town of Punjab at the turn of the millennium, The Shreds of Character is the tale of a disgraced family and of an enraged guilt.

Review:
The author has used a high vocabulary in his story, and I appreciate it. However his story telling didn’t quite captivate me, it was somewhat incoherent. I know that he wanted to give a touch of mystery and twisted thoughts where to get the reader on edge, but what it did for me was the absolute opposite.
It is mind tiring, to the point where I found difficulties to finish the story.

As for the story itself, it evokes an interesting and a very sensitive subject. I picked this book knowing what would happen. And it was everything that I expected. Except for one thing (I know how Indian people live and work for their lives and how they interact with others), did the author made them that way or are people truly uncivilized?!
Each member of that family has a case of suppressed anger and violence and whenever they meet, they unleashed it on each other.

As for the main subject, this book is all about family honor and raising a straight competent child where he is the perfect face of that family.
The author has made some great point of views, and written such meaningful passage that certain people could relate to.

“She felt as if she was guarding a sacred empire. She felt important and powerful.”

I understand what the story stands for, what is the author’s intention; in fact I do live in such a world.
Girls being killed for honor That I know of, because honor to us Arabs is something to be cherished.
But what I couldn’t grasp; is how perverted and disgusting is the mind of these men. their solemnly reason for living is to have some with every moving beauty. But when they touch her and have their way with her, they refuse to marry the girl.
And the main reason they refused to marry is because she is no longer innocent, and they need someone pure to be their wives..
Such a hypocrisy and disgusting thinking.
This gives them no right to judge their sisters and others!

Another matter that I hated and I think this quote is enough to understand my displeasure :

"Every sensible woman turned a slut in her husband’s bed. Only sluts could hold on to their husbands. Husbands needed sluts.”

What?!
A woman can never ever be a slut to her husband!
I agree some people marry only because marriage benefits them in many ways that is not love or caring. They might care for each other through the years or they might never will. But what will solidify that relationship is mutual respect and more so is the children that unite the family and bring joy to it…

As for the main girl I find her to be a liar and unreasonable. And I do not feel sorry for her she had no reason to carry on with what she did. She IS a disgrace to herself and family. No compassion there for her.

As for the brother; the author has made him look innocent, whilst he is everything but that…
He hadn’t done anything wrong; I admit, but still he is coward who cannot stand for what’s wrong and right
I was exasperated with him and his snide remarks…


Overall,I gave this book a2 Stars reviewbecause it minimise the importance of family and trust and I highly disagree with the author on many perspective, that I can't discuss without spoiling it for others.

I do not recommend this book for teenagers or younger. This is fairly an Adult one.
Plus I think this is a better read for the male gendre.