I think this is a cute book. On the website climbingthestairsbook.com, there are a lot of 12 & 13 year olds commenting on her Guest Book which makes sense. I thought this book was an interesting peak into Indian culture of the 1940’s from an Indian perspective. I liked the influence of Ghandi and nonviolence vs. when violence seems like the only solution to defeat Hitler. There are two different Indian homes described, one of them is “traditional” multi-generational with the dividing stairs. I also enjoyed the insiders perspective on Hinduism and the various monthly celebrations. The Brahman caste embracing simplicity was also very interesting. This is a good book to learn a little of Indian culture because Vidya, the main character in the book, finds good in everything and everyone even when she disagrees with them. That is a great skill to learn. Padma received a lot of praise for the research behind her writing, which is well-earned.
My Rating: Cute.