Tell It to the Trees

Tell It to the Trees One freezing winter morning a dead body is found in the backyard of the Dharma family s house It s the body of Anu Krishnan For Anu a writer seeking a secluded retreat from the city the Dharmas back

  • Title: Tell It to the Trees
  • Author: Anita Rau Badami
  • ISBN: 9780676978940
  • Page: 342
  • Format: Paperback
  • One freezing winter morning a dead body is found in the backyard of the Dharma family s house It s the body of Anu Krishnan For Anu, a writer seeking a secluded retreat from the city, the Dharmas back house in the sleepy mountain town of Merrit s Point was the ideal spot to take a year off and begin writing She had found the Dharmas rental through a happy coincidenOne freezing winter morning a dead body is found in the backyard of the Dharma family s house It s the body of Anu Krishnan For Anu, a writer seeking a secluded retreat from the city, the Dharmas back house in the sleepy mountain town of Merrit s Point was the ideal spot to take a year off and begin writing She had found the Dharmas rental through a happy coincidence A friend from university who had kept tabs on everyone in their graduating year including the quiet and reserved Vikram Dharma and his first wife, Helen sent her the listing Anu vaguely remembered Vikram but had a strong recollection of Helen, a beautiful, vivacious, social and charming woman But now Vikram had a new wife, a marriage hastily arranged in India after Helen was killed in a car accident Suman Dharma, a stark contrast to Helen, is quiet and timid She arrived from the bustling warmth of India full of the promise of her new life a new home, a new country and a daughter from Vikram s first marriage But her husband s suspicious, controlling and angry tirades become almost a daily ritual, resigning Suman to a desolate future entangled in a marriage of fear and despair Suman is isolated both by the landscape and the culture, and her fortunes begin to change only when Anu arrives A friendship begins to form between the two women as Anu becomes a frequent visitor to the house While the children, Varsha and Hemant, are at school, Anu, Vikram s mother, Akka, and Suman spend time sharing tea and stories But Anu s arrival will change the balance of the Dharma household Young Varsha, deeply affected by her mother s death and desperate to keep her new family together, becomes increasingly suspicious of Anu s relationship with her stepmother Varsha s singular attention to keeping her family together, and the secrets that emerge as Anu and Suman become friends, create cracks in the Dharma family that can only spell certain disaster.From the Hardcover edition.

    One thought on “Tell It to the Trees”

    1. I was really looking forward to reading this book based on reviews and promotions by . I began reading as soon as I downloaded it, despite being in the middle of another book. Unfortunately I was very disappointed. I felt that the characters were largely undeveloped and rather unlikable. While I wanted to sympathize with Suman and Hemi I found it difficult as I felt as if I did not know them. While I was easily able to dislike Vikram that was based on deeds rather than character development. Akk [...]

    2. This book will grab your attention from page one and will linger in your mind long after completion. It is a thought provoking book concerning family secrets, an unexplainable death of a tenant and an isolated family invested in maintaining a good family name. The cold harsh setting of a small Canadian town springs to life in Anita Rau Badami beautiful lyrical writing. The Dharma family- consisting of autocratic Vikram; his aged mother Akka, who has chilling secrets of her own; sweet gentle Suma [...]

    3. Anita Rao Badami is my favourite author and I was expecting so much from this book. But this book disappointed me. It looks like book is written in haste. Storyline is good but the author did not take time to develop the characters fully. All the characters seem kind of unreal. This is the first time that I did not like even a single character from a book. I wanted to like Suman, Akka and Anu's character but could not do it. There was so much scope for their charaters to develop more but author [...]

    4. I won this book on a giveaway, and did not know what to expect. It turned out to be one of the most gripping reads I have had in a long time. I couldn't put it down. The story begins with the discovery of the frozen body of their tenant in the backyard of the Dharma family's isolated Northern B.C. home. What follows is the gradual unfolding of the events leading up to the death, told from the perspectives of the two children of the family, the mother, and the tenant herself through her journal. [...]

    5. Reading Tell It to the Trees by Anita Rau Badami was neither particularly enjoyable nor instructional. While family abuse is certainly a topical subject, readers looking for some insight into either its causes, dynamics or solutions will be disappointed. The abusers punch and kick and frighten while the victims cower and cover-up—over and over, from multiple points of view. Readers looking for a story will find it difficult to identify with, let alone fall in love with any of the characters. T [...]

    6. A dark novel about a dysfunctional family of E.Indian extraction living in a small N.BC town.The father Vikram is a cyclothymic manipulative abusive man whose 1st wife Helen leaves him & their daughter Varsha. He remarries to a 2nd wife Suman, he finds in India & fathers a boy Hemant who is totally under the domination of his half-sister. Vikram abuses the submissive Suman & the 2 children physically & verbally. This is kept secret except that the children confess their secrets t [...]

    7. This book follows an Indian Canadian family, where the father is emotionally and physically abusive to everyone in the household. Each chapter follows the narrative of four characters: Varsha, the 14 year old daughter, who takes on her fathers way and is emotionally or physically abusive, the tenant Anu, who is dead at the start of the book, the stepmother Suman and the younger brother Hem, who gets emotionally and phyically abuses by both his father and sister. The first 25% or so of the book s [...]

    8. Wow, that was dark. The book is well-written and sheds light on how tragedy can occur when a very flawed individual reigns so ominously over a family, particularly when the family lives in a completely isolated environment. It's not surprising then, that such tyrannical behaviour reaps deeply scarred -- mentally and physically -- individuals.For me, the book is merely ok, hence the two stars, vice three. I waffled on giving it three stars, but when I'm left feeling sad and deflated, I am not ins [...]

    9. The book gave me shivers - I was much upset and developed a headache by the time I finished it. The story deals with a cruel, controlling husband, his rebellious first wife who died in an accident, the docile second wife who had to deal with all sorts of physical and psychological atrocities from her husband as well as more subtle threats from his daughter of the first wife. Her son, who is 6 years younger is a willing slave to his step-sister. The wife wants to escape the situation but is force [...]

    10. This is the story of a murder (in the 1st chapter), family secrets and domestic abuse all within the Dharma family who had immigrated from India to a small isolated town in Northern B.C.I found it hard to close this book once I had started. The subject matter is very disturbing (various types of domestic abuse) yet the story grabs you. The characters were well-developed and I found that either my heart was breaking for them, I was terrified for them or I loathed them.This has to be one of the be [...]

    11. I read Tell It To The Trees last spring. I am repeatedly and pleasantly surprised by how much I am enjoying entering the world of story through the pen of our Canadian/South Asian writers. Farzana Doctor, Jasmine D'Costa, Khaled Hossein (U.S.), Rohinton Mistry and now Anita Rau Badami! The great stories keep coming. I enjoyed this story and there is a gentleness about it, a lightness, even as the author explores a serious topic.

    12. The author does an excellent job in highlighting characters perspective's within an isolated and dysfunctional home. This novel is a page turner: gripping, mysterious, and dark, the story is addictive. I really enjoyed it.

    13. A desperately sad book but an important piece of fictional (Canadian) herstory set in the isolation of the BC mountains that have been home to legions of Indian immigrants for well over a century.

    14. Anita Rau Badami's book "Tell it to the trees," is set in the cold winters of Northern B.C. It tells of the Indo- Candian Dharma family who carry on their life under the shadows of abuse. As the wife Suman says, "All of us are carrying tales to him about each other, falling over ourselves to be in his good books. I as childish as my stepdaughter." The writing is crisp and the story poignant with an undercurrent of mystery. Will be a great addition to any reader's library or to a book club.

    15. This was a disturbing but fascinating slice of Indian life in a remote Canadian town. Not much joy. A whole lot of crazy. And an end without an end. Worth the read.

    16. How sad when the only thing you can tell your feelings to is a tree. A story of sadness, despair and violence.

    17. The book, Tell It to the Trees, by Anita Rau Badami is a gripping novel about an Indian family that lives in the isolated recluse of the wilderness found in a small town, Merrit’s Point, in northern British Columbia. And much like the setting, the family itself is hidden by the burden of their family secret—the domestic violence of their authoritarian father, Vikram Dharma.One of Anita Rau Badami’s literary gifts is to be able to speak so effectively through first person narrative. Her pro [...]

    18. Anita Rau Badami is an excellent writer. Her previous novels bear this out. Her writing is fluid and graceful, she gives us characters we care about and creates complete worlds in which her readers cannot help but immerse themselves. Her depictions of Indian family life, in stories set both here and in India, are morally complex, rich in detail, and find their crux in the cultural tensions that exist between east and west. It is disappointing then to report that her latest novel, Tell it to the [...]

    19. The Dharma family live in an isolated house in Merrit’s Point, a small town in northern British Columbia. One February morning their tenant, Anu, is found dead in the snow from hypothermia. Tell it to the Trees tells the story of the Dharma family in the months leading up to Anu’s death. Vikram Dharma abuses his wife and children, and led his first wife to run away. His thirteen-year-old daughter, Varsha, is terrified that her stepmother will leave her like her mother did. Suman has been mar [...]

    20. Tell it to the trees by Anita Rau Badami is more than just an immigrant story. It is a story of a close knit family where the family name is paramount. "The Dharmas are spotless and ab-SO-olutely perfect" so the belt connects with hidden places (back or legs) where nobody can see. This is a dark novel which centres on secrets and abuse.Vikram is the autocratic, manipulative, controlling figure in this dysfunctional family. Suman is his second wife brought over to Canada from India because he jud [...]

    21. Anita Rau Badami has done a wonderful job of compiling several perspectives into one compelling story, in Tell It to the Trees. And the poetic language with which Suman, the protagonist, shares her perspective offers a foretaste of events that will have occurred. We learn about Lalli, Suman's childhood friend, whose father "descended to Madras from northern India." This interesting quote suggests coming south and moving from the mountains to the seaside; it also suggests a change in life, which [...]

    22. The book tells the story of the Dharma family living outside an isolated small town in northern British Columbia. Its members include Vikram, who went to India to arrange his second marriage to Suman, a quiet, gentle woman. The couple has a son, Hemant, but Suman is also stepmother to Varsha, a teenager who, because of the loss of her mother, fears losing Suman and becomes very possessive of her half-brother as well. Akka, Vikram's elderly and sickly mother, is the fifth member of the household. [...]

    23. ***I won this book from as a First Reads giveaway***Tell it to the Trees by Anita Rau BadamiI found this book hard to put down. It is a very emotionally charged tale of domestic abuse, both physical and psychological, secrets and trauma. The subject matter is very disturbing yet the story is really gripping. It made me feel very angry and upset. The author has certainly done an excellent job – the writing is beautiful, descriptive and pulls the reader in.In this novel there is an underlying m [...]

    24. .5 STARS "One freezing winter morning a dead body is found in the backyard of the Dharma family's house. It's the body of their tenant, Anu Krishnan. Why had she, a stranger to the mountains, been foolish enough to go out into the blizzard? From this gripping opening, Anita Rau Badami threads together a story of love and need, and of chilling secrets never told aloud.For Anu, seeking a secluded retreat from the city, the Dharmas--the authoritarian Vikram, his aged mother, gentle Suman whom he ha [...]

    25. What an great read (though not great literature)! It 's lovely to immerse one's self in a book that's hard to put down. This book is about keeping secrets and about violence and the way it affects family members through several generations. It focuses on an East Indian family living in a small town somewhere in rural B.C. Vikram is a controlling, abusive man. His gentle wife -Suman, daughter - Varsha, and son- Hemant live in constant fear of one of Vikram's violent outbursts. His mother, Akka, l [...]

    26. I went into this one expecting it to be a lot more awkward and frustrating than it was. Frankly, I enjoyed the read! I had such a good time living the complete opposites that were Varsha and Suman,; and what a blast it was disliking Varsha as much as I did. Part of me almost UNDERSTANDS her way of thinking, and how that mean streak runs through her paternal lineage. I even enjoyed the brief time spent as Hemnant, and seeing his life from his fractured and battered point of view.One of the compla [...]

    27. Set in the outskirts of a small mountain town in British Columbia, this novel follows an Indo-Canadian family of a father Vikram, his second wife Suman, his teen daughter Varsha, his small son Hemant, and his aging mother Akka.Vikram is an authoritarian figure, demanding a level of control of his family beyond normal. Suman has come to Canada as part of an arranged marriage and is both eager to please and isolated. Varsha feels abandoned by her mother, who died in an accident. Akka is a woman wh [...]

    28. You have a secret? Then tell it to the trees.This book is full of family secrets and everything needs to be kept quiet for the good of the family name. The Dharmas live in a small northern B.C. town and the Indian-Canadian family includes the father Vikram, his gentle wife Suman, his mother Akka and his two children, Varsha and Hemant.One day, Vikram decides to welcome a tenant in the back house and Anu is thrilled by the silence of the land. Neighbours are far away so it's perfect for her goal [...]

    29. This was another brilliant story from Badami. It's heart breaking and frustrating and shocking right from page one. It was a quick read because the story is structured so well, but also because I had difficulty putting the book down.Each character elicits emotion, usually negative, but for each character there's a different reason. I found myself disliking Varsha intensely, but trying to rationalize that she was an abused child, raised in a completely unstable environment. However, she was cruel [...]

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