The Village by the Sea by Anita Desai

The Village by the Sea

Written by Anita Desai
Part of the A Puffin Book Series

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The Lovereading4Kids comment

Winner of the Guardian Fiction Award, this story of life in village India, where children are forced so young to be adult, will appeal to a wide range of ages. Hari and Lila are the eldest of a poor family and life is very hard indeed: their father is often drunk, their mother sick, and there seems no way out of the debt that the family is in. Even growing industrialisation seems to offer a new threat to them. Despite the hardships they face, their tenacity and spirit stays strong and there is a happy ending. A very powerful story that fully deserves its place as a modern classic. ~ Andrea Reece

The Good Book Guide logo The Good Book Guide Review. Two young Indians. Hari and his sister Lila, leave their village and go to Bombay to make some money to save their family. The contrast between poverty in the village and the tawdriness of the city is excellently conveyed.


The Village by the Sea by Anita Desai

A story of survival set in a small fishing villlage near Bombay. This is the first appearance in The Puffin Modern Classics series.

Lila and Hari, aged 13 and 12, struggle to keep the family, including two young sisters, going when their mother is ill and their father usually the worse for drink. When Hari goes to Bombay to find work, Lila seems to be responsible for everything. Although the book paints a picture of extreme poverty, it demonstrates the strength of the family even in the most extreme circumstances and offers a powerful picture of another culture.

About the Author

Anita Desai was born and brought up in India and has written widely for both adults and children. She has been shortlisted for the Booker Prize and has won the Guardian Fiction Award.

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Book Info


320 pages
Interest Age: From 9


Anita Desai
More books by Anita Desai


Puffin Books an imprint of Penguin Books Ltd

Publication date

2nd July 2015




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