I recently got the chance to participate in Librarything.com's Early Reviewer's program and was selected to read and review Gifted by Nikita Lalwani. I'd suggest if you aren't doing so already, the join librarything and join their Early Reviewer's program. It's great fun. This book is scheduled for release September 11th.
The story of young Rumi Vasi, math genius, and her family explores many themes including adolescence, the nature of genius, and an Indian family living in England. At a young age it is discovered the Rumi is gifted in mathematics and her father takes it upon himself to nurture those skills and help her get into Oxford at the age of 15.
Immediately the book “The Namesake” by Jhumpa Lahiri and the movie, “Bend it Like Beckham” written and directed by Gurinder Chadha came to mind, both sharing some storylines of Indian family’s displaced. While these two stories memorized me, “Gifted” did not.
I tried desperately to connect to Rumi, succeeding only a few times. I felt bad for her mother, and did not like her father. The parents both seemed confused in their parenting abilities and I wished for them to have more compassion and realize that things were not as they seemed with Rumi.
Three parts of the story were specifically enjoyable for me, Rumi interacting with her little brother Nibu, Rumi’s two trips to India, and Rumi living away from home while attending Oxford. Maybe I enjoyed these small sections because I was in someway able to relate to them, unlike other parts of the story.
I connected to the idea of the story but not the execution. I am sure some people will enjoy this book, it just wasn’t for me and that happens.
1 and 1/2 stars of 5
Manuscript from LibraryThing Early Reviewers