This is a review of Tell A Thousand Lies, a novel by Rasana Atreya
Tell A Thousand Lies is an ambitious, imaginative, engaging, unpredictable work. Author, Rasana Atreya roots the story in the specifics of rural India and, in particular, the trials and triumphs of protagonist Pullamma, who, along with two sisters, was raised in poverty by her grandmother. The sisters dreamed of a different life than their circumstances dictated, and the action one of them took to achieve that end set powerful forces in motion that ripped Pullamma’s life apart. The setting was itself a revelation for me, and I expect for others who have no direct experience of the culture, but the author also transcends time and place to plumb universal themes: betrayal, jealousy, greed, power, love, hate, forgiveness. Atreya conveyed the main characters clearly, with just enough quirks and flaws, so they jumped to life, engaged me emotionally, swept me into the saga, and left a lasting, positive impression.