April 22, 2010

Culture clash

A Group of One
by Rachna Gilmore

Fifteen-year-old Tara is caught between two cultures. She was born in Canada; her parents came from India. She doesn't like being labelled one or the other; she just wants to be herself - an individual or group of one. 

The culture clash becomes more intense when her paternal grandmother comes for a visit. Dadiji never forgave her son for leaving India and adopting a Western lifestyle. Tara is determined to hate Dadiji until she learns the truth about her grandmother's life during the Quit India campaign. Led by Mahatma Gandhi, the campaign called for British colonists to leave India immediately. Many citizens were beaten and imprisoned, including members of Dadiji's family. 

Her grandmother's painful story makes Tara question her place in Canada. Her inner turmoil is palpable, especially in her relationship with her classmates.

Rachna Gilmore's quietly powerful story demonstrates that the many sides of history must be heard in order to understand it.

No comments: