I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed here are my own.
Of all paperbacks authors have sent me for review, I loved the cover of this one the best. Seriously, look at it! It’s so pretty!
I started reading this book hoping I would love it as much as the cover. I did like it, but I feel like there was so much left unexplained.
At the age of 10, Jaya Vaidya decides she wants to follow in the footsteps of her beloved father and become a doctor, much to the chagrin of her mother and her local community. It is the late 1960s and the family enjoy an idyllic life in the Vale of Kashmir, despite the area being riddled with conflict and poverty. But after a devastating earthquake wipes out her entire family, Jaya is taken into the care of relatives in Delhi, who attempt to marry her off and keep secret from her the possibility that Tahir, her younger brother, has survived the earthquake. After escaping from the arranged marriage Jaya is put through medical training in Scotland, as she had always dreamed, and where she develops feelings for her foster family’s eldest son, Alastair, who is engaged to someone else. In the meantime, Tahir has been abducted by a band of Kashmiri freedom fighters, who have made him one of their own. Jaya finally returns to her troubled homeland to find him and come to terms with the loss of her family.
Let’s get this out of the way: the blurb just gives away the whole story. And the back cover had one additional line about Alastair (an obvious spoiler) which I don’t want to add here because it was left out of Goodreads.
I started reading this book with considerable trepidation because of this. What is the crux of the story? The blurb itself includes so much drama. Will more happen in the story? Spoiler alert: nothing more happens. The only thing that’s not in the blurb is the climax. And that’s my problem with this book. You don’t want to read a book while mentally ticking off if everything mentioned in the blurb has happened yet.
The tell-all blurb aside, The Giants Look Down is a decent book about one woman’s dream and all that she’ll do to realize it. Ms. Price beautifully describes both Kashmir and Scotland. I’ve been to neither of these places but the author has managed to give me high hopes about the beauty of both. I have, however, been to Delhi and this book captures the dirt, smog, and general disregard Delhi residents have for personal space accurately. Sorry, Delhiites!
And now, the negatives: (eek, I hate doing this)
While character development does occur in this book, we never find out how the character went from point A to B. We’re just shown that the character is at B. How does a reluctant bandit become the head of the freedom fighters? This change could’ve been portrayed wonderfully, but that never happens in this book.
Some things are also just not explained and the reader is left to make assumptions. For a while in this book, a character seems to have lost his voice. The next time we read about him though, he talks. We never find out how this happened.
Despite this, this book does have some positives. You should read The Giants Look Down for its fast-paced nature and the flowing prose about Kashmir and Scotland.
Rating: 3 out of 5
What did you think of my review? Would you read this book? Let me know in the comments!