Book Review Of ” A People’s History Of Heaven” By Mathangi Subramanian @AlgonquinBooks


A politically driven graffiti artist. A transgender Christian convert. A blind girl who loves to dance. A queer daughter of a hijabi union leader. These are some of the young women who live in a Bangalore slum known as Heaven, young women whom readers will come to love in the moving, atmospheric, and deeply inspiring debut, A People’s History of Heaven.

Welcome to Heaven, a thirty-year-old slum hidden between brand-new high-rise apartment buildings and technology incubators in contemporary Bangalore, one of India’s fastest-growing cities. In Heaven, you will come to know a community made up almost entirely of women, mothers and daughters who have been abandoned by their men when no male heir was produced. Living hand-to-mouth and constantly struggling against the city government who wants to bulldoze their homes and build yet more glass high-rises, these women, young and old, gladly support one another, sharing whatever they can.

A People’s History of Heaven centers on five best friends, girls who go to school together, a diverse group who love and accept one another unconditionally, pulling one another through crises and providing emotional, physical, and financial support. Together they wage war on the bulldozers that would bury their homes, and, ultimately, on the city that does not care what happens to them.

This is a story about geography, history, and strength, about love and friendship, about fighting for the people and places we love–even if no one else knows they exist. Elegant, poetic, bursting with color, Mathangi Subramanian’s novel is a moving and celebratory story of girls on the cusp of adulthood who find joy just in the basic act of living.

Thank you Algonquin Books for gifting me a copy of this book in exchange of an honest review. All opinions are my own.

I rate this book a 3 out of 5 Stars.

I appreciated the diversity in this book, and the in depth look into India’s culture. I loved the bond between the ladies in this book, and the strength they all had. The writing was very pretty. I love that when these women were faced with losing their homes, they banded together, and fought for their homes.

In full disclosure, I did struggle getting into this book, and becoming fully attached to the characters. But once I got about 60% into the book, it really started coming together for me, and since it’s on the smaller side, it was a very quick read. I do believe not many readers have this same issue though, so please take my words with a grain of salt.

I did find the right style to be very flowy, pretty, and delicate. This book was written with passion, and you can very obviously tell that the Author loved the story she was weaving.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/40591946-a-people-s-history-of-heaven

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