Raw, Flawed and Honest

Evening Is the Whole Day - Preeta Samarasan

Occasionally you come across a novel that so accurately captures the human condition that it is impossible not to identify with some tiny fragment of personality or emotion.

This novel wove together both the story of a servant girl wrongfully accused and that of her employers lives, trials and tribulations, both internally and on the surface.

few books that I have read have portrayed such a raw and deeply flawed cast of individuals, I found it difficult to openly dislike any of them because each had such depth and true emotion to them.


Evening Is The Whole Day does not paint the image of a happy family institution, This family hurt; they hurt each other, sometimes deliberately and often without shame, but it is through this that we witness the inner turmoil of each, it is this fact that so deeply saddened me and allowed to connect with each.


The colourful social dynamic of Malaysia and its melting pot of cultures was another aspect that reared its (sometimes ugly) head throughout this novel, particularly the treatment of servants but also the amalgamation of languages and struggle for identity, something which each character had to do battle with in their own way, be it the role of husband, sister or elder...not just servant.


To try and capture the essence of each character in a single review would do this book no justice, its one of those books that you simply have to pick up to understand. I really would like to read more of this relatively unknown authors work as her combination of vivid prose and unrestricted plot are not easily found these days.