Climbing the Stairs

A remarkable debut novel set in India that shows one girl’s struggle for independence. During World War II and the last days of British occupation in India, fifteen-year-old Vidya dreams of attending college. But when her forward-thinking father is beaten senseless by the British police, she is forced to live with her grandfather’s large traditional family, where the women live apart from the men and are meant to be married off as soon as possible. Vidya’s only refuge becomes her grandfather’s upstairs library, which is forbidden to women. There she meets Raman, a young man also living in the house who relishes her intellectual curiosity. But when Vidya’s brother decides to fight with the hated British against the Nazis, and when Raman proposes marriage too soon, Vidya must question all she has believed in. Padma Venkatraman’s debut novel shows a girl struggling to find her place in a mixed-up world. Climbing the Stairs is a powerful story about love and loss set against a fascinating historical backdrop.

Take a closer look at Climbing the Stairs as examined in WOW Review.

Related: Historical Fiction, India, Young Adult (ages 14-18)

3 thoughts on “Climbing the Stairs

  1. Alyce Dougan says:

    I really enjoyed reading this book. It shows viewers what its like to live in India during the struggle of WWII. It also shows some of the hardships women faced during this time. While reading this I felt very close to Vidya. I would reccomend this book to anyone especially young teens who are trying to find themselves.

  2. Jami says:

    While reading this novel I was exposed to new ideas and issues that Vidya struggle with. Her dream of going to college and to be able to think for herself was a battle. Not so much in her normal home with her parents but after her father was beaten, she, her brother and parents are forced to live in her grandfather’s traditional home. I learned a lot from this wonderful story.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *