Saturday, January 5, 2013

Book Review: Behind the Beautiful Forevers

Behind the Beautiful Forevers by Katherine Boo

This non-fiction fast paced narrative "tells the dramatic and sometimes heartbreaking story of families striving toward a better life." However, the families live in Annawadi, a makeshift settlement in the shadow of Mumbai's airport. Scrap metal brings money and Abdul, Kalu, and Asha deal in trash, fight political corruption, deal with jail, and optimistically believe they can better their lives.

Each page is jaw dropping in descriptions, characters, and in pulling back the veil of third world poverty. Boo's research and first-hand experiences shine in her writing. She wanted to show how low income people, especially women and children, were negotiating the age of global markets. (p.248)

The unpredictability of daily life has a way of grinding down individual promise. (p.253)

In reading this book, I found myself enthralled by the minuscule victories, the daily fight to live and eat. Disease prevails and at times I had to put the book down. The extreme poverty was overwhelming and beyond comprehension.

Behind the Beautiful Forevers will stick with you long after completing the book. Pulitzer Prize winner, Katherine Boo's courageous writing and exploration into the underbelly of Mumbai are captivating.


  1. This sounds like a book that will make you be grateful for the conveniences we have here in the U.S. I've been reading a lot about Uganda lately and the struggles they have there. I'll add this to my TBR list.

  2. You gave a wonderful review of the book. I love the title. That would draw me in without your endorsment.