I finished The Sari Shop which was an AMAZING book.
I'm going to go buy it very soon. I just couldn't put it down...which is bad while I'm in school and have to do homework. ;)
It's difficult for me to describe the premise or the intricacies of the book. I could try, but then I'd end up writing an essay paper about it.
In as short of a summary as possible:
The book is about a man named Ramchand, who works in a Sari shop with a few other guys. He spends his days stuck in a depressed rut that he doesn't know how to break out of. Room. Sleep. Sari Shop. That is his life. One day, the prestigous Rina Kapoor announces her wedding, and Ramchand must personally take saris to the Kapoor house while Rina and her mother do her wedding shopping. The book tells the story of Ramchand, mainly, and then tells other stories about various female characters from different walks of life (the educated, the wealthy, and the poor). As Ramchand works very hard to educate himself and improve his life, he learns more about the lives that these women lead, and just how separate the lives of the rich and the poor really are. Even those who he thinks may be of help to him and those of his station look down on him and the rest of the poor masses. He quickly learns how much strengh can be weakness, as well as how much weakness can be strength.
I HIGHLY recommend this book.