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.

Different Kind Of Courage

In 1940, the Germans have come to Paris and Bertrand, his mother and sister are fleeing. Meanwhile, the Germans have not come to the south of France, where Zina and her family live–but there’s no work for ethnic Russians like Zina’s papa. Both Bertrand and Zina must go to America in order to survive. Each shows fear in a different way, but finally, through friendship, finds hope again.