They’re very different books – one is about the slums of Mumbai, in India; the other an account of the author’s pregnancy and subsequent stillbirth. Both books are painfully honest, emotionally raw and made me look away. Both tell the story of a death, yet the circumstances around those deaths couldn’t be more different. Both are confronting.
Behind the Beautiful Forevers is a book about filth, corruption, garbage and getting by. Boo has written an amazing book, her writing style journalistic and frank – she never makes it easy for her audience who, more than likely, is reading in relative luxury. Was I expecting a glimmer of hope in Boo’s account of slum living? Yes, of course I was. But it’s not delivered, and left me feeling uncomfortable – I applaud Boo for that. 4/5
It seemed to him that in Annawadi, fortunes derived not just from what people did, or how well they did it, but from the accidents and catastrophes they dodged. A decent life was the train that didn’t hit you, the slumlord you hadn’t offended, the malaria you hadn’t caught.
What to say about An Exact Replica…? I can’t write a review about what is a deeply personal, heartbreaking memoir. I sobbed. I ached for Elizabeth… Grieved for a baby I only glimpsed through her words. She writes beautifully. 5/5
Closure is bullshit.