Reviews

Burnt Sugar by Avni Doshi

laurianeisreading's review

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4.0

Let me start by saying, "the girls that get it, get it and the ones that don't, don't"

Just finished listening to this book and was curious to see others' thoughts on it. Surprisingly mixed reviews and they seem to be at extremes!

Anyways, I really did like this book. It is a disturbing, unsettling, and frustrating story about a relationship between a woman and her mother. Antara and Tara's complex and twisted relationship is a major part of the story. The story starts with the narrator, Antara explaining that her mother is in the early stages of dementia. Since her mother has forgotten so much Antara takes it upon herself to tell her mother stories from the past to try to help her remember. The book jumps around from different years throughout their lives together.

Some criticize the graphic and unflinching depictions of human condition. To be honest, I can't think of any imagery that was that shocking to me.

Others criticize the characters as being stereotypes and one dimensional. To me, they seemed more like the foils to Antara's feeling of otherness. They're regular people and in her efforts to fit into normalcy she can't really connect because of her childhood and trauma. They're not particularly complex to her and we're getting her pov. Antara's narration can seem disturbing and disgusting at times but that's because we're seeing her intrusive thoughts (ex. thinking about sleeping with her dad

melrh's review

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dark reflective sad slow-paced

3.0

kathryn_mcb's review

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Ran out of speed with this one 

parkergarlough's review

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dark emotional reflective sad tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? No
  • Loveable characters? No
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.75

pearlbambi's review

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4.25

Relentlessly vicious and unexpected book about mother-daughter relationship and identity. 

asainspace's review

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dark emotional fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? No
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

3.5

Interesting exploration of some ideas around trauma, abuse, memory and care work that felt underdeveloped. The flat narrative voice across a lifetime which made it feel like the narrator/main character was stuck in a perpetual adolescent may have been intentional but fell flat for me as led to a lack of character development/actualisation.

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prada's review

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challenging emotional hopeful reflective tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

3.0

curlypip's review

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2.0

There were some good moments, and some great descriptive writing, especially the descriptions of places and their scents. But overall, I didn’t care for either Tara or her daughter Antara, and although their relationship was messy and mean, it didn’t ring true for me.
The closer I got to the end, the quicker I read. The ending was unsatisfying and just reminded me that I didn’t really care what happened.
I’m surprised that this was nominated for the booker prize

jessica_irving's review

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3.0

Just..... meh. Some smart bits. Could have been set anywhere. Not compelling. The characters all gave me anxiety.

iarinas's review against another edition

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slow-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? No
  • Loveable characters? No
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

3.0