This book is full of familiar characters. Characters we can relate with. Phrases long-lost were refreshingly brought alive.
The short version of this review – buy the book. It’s a great read.
Kitty’s War is set in the early 1940’s in the sleepy town of Pipli. Katherine Riddle (Kitty) is caught between two worlds and ultimately has to make her choice.
1941, as we all know now, is the tail end of the British rule in India. The whites, the Anglo-Indians, and the “natives” live in a restless time. Add to that, Japan invites the United States of America to World War II by bombing Pearl Harbour. With whispers of global unrest and ones more local, life in the colonies of Pipli Junction goes on – with their own mundane and exceptional stories.
As an Anglo-Indian, this was a fantastic read. It was like peeling back the years and peeking into history through a fictional lens. Some of it uncomfortable, sure it was. Most Anglo-Indians have a romanticised relationship with the railways. My dad for instance, spent his entire career in it. Transferring from small towns and ending up in the city, Kitty’s War connects just that little bit more.
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A well written book makes you think. Think about things, remember, and talk about it with other people. Kitty’s War does this. My grandfather was the only Anglo in a village. He was the postmaster. He had an ayah and a couple of workers. We visited quite often. As I read Kitty’s War, I was reminded that my grandfather could have well been a character. As well as yours.
It also helped me realise that while I now live in the U.S.A, there aren’t people alive from it’s independence times from 1776. We however are just one generation away from the folks who were alive then. Our dads, our mums, aunts, and uncles. They could have well been characters in Kitty’s War. The stories they have to tell could well be snippets in a chapter from this book. That’s why Kitty’s War is such a great read. it could be a story of our grandparents, or great grand parents – depending on how old you are.
Kitty’s War is written by Daman Singh with a great amount of insight and research. There are a lot of little phrases, products, and locations that will resonate and make you smile.
For instance – Waterbury’s Compound. Oh the memories!
Get Kitty’s War. It’s a short read that you won’t be able to put down. (I woke up at 3AM and finished the last few chapters).
Disclaimer: This isn’t a paid review, I did get the book free but am not bound to enjoy nor recommend it.