Tuesday, June 18, 2013

ARC Review: A Moment Comes

A Moment Comes by Jennifer Bradbury
4/5 stars
Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2013
278 pages
YA Historical
Scheduled to release June 25

Source: Received an e-ARC from the publisher through Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.

After taking some classes on Indian history, I discovered that I have a deep fascination for the country and its history that is not often sated in YA fiction, which so often focuses on American or fantastical worlds. Luckily we have books like this, a more serious offering from the author of Wrapped, the historical MG/YA.

What first caught me about this book is its setting during the partition of India and Pakistan in 1947, a situation whose repercussions are still felt today in seemingly unending conflict between the two bodies. I knew vague factoids about the situation but this story places you on the ground with Sikhs and Muslims battling over territory but also thankfully highlights the good of people stepping up to do the bit of good that they can do. This is demonstrated in the form of our three narrators: Muslim Tariq, craving to study at Oxford; Sikh Anupreet, a beautiful girl confined to her home to protect her from the violent angry men around her; and Margaret, the British daughter of a cartographer come to divide India who meets the previous two when they are hired as servants in her family's household.

I did not read the summary very closely as it clearly states that these three would be followed so I was surprised to meet the three as narrators. Each chapter lists the narrator so it is easy to keep track that way although the personalities, wants, and desires of all three are so different that it would be simple to do even without (it is appreciated still.)

Probably what I liked most about this was how everything kept building. The circumstances became darker and more violent, everyone became a bit more desperate until the great climax of these ordinary people stepping up to do what they could despite the odds. In the author's note, Bradbury writes a little about this and I loved how she brought that theme out.

I do think there could have been a bit more depth into the religious, racial, and gender issues of the time, especially for people who are not familiar with the period. Still there are a few books to reference mentioned in the author's note that I think it would behoove me to check out so as to further enlighten myself.

Overall: A very well-done historical novel about a time not very well-known to modern American audiences.

17 comments:

  1. Ooh, interesting time period AND locations! I'm definitely unfamiliar with both so that draws me to this story. I saw this one but didn't pick it up. Might have to remedy that.

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    1. You should definitely give it a try-I loved learning more about India/Pakistan!

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  2. I really don't know anything about Indian history, and this sounds completely fascinating to me. Wonderful review.

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    1. I thought this was just great-definitely be prepared to read some more about India/Pakistan though in order to fully understand it.

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  3. Definitely want to check this out, though perhaps I should brush up a little on the history first. Great review!
    You can find me here: Jen @ YA Romantics

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    1. I would certainly recommend brushing up on the history first but still work checking it out and see what questions it brings up.

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    2. I would certainly recommend brushing up on the history first but still work checking it out and see what questions it brings up.

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  4. Sounds well done, and I love that cover, so eye catching

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    1. I love the cover too-very colorful and pretty :)

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  5. Oooh I like the looks of this one! The narrators all sound awesome, and since I know next to nothing about the time and context, it would be awesome to learn something too! Thanks for the review, this one's now on my radar for sure!

    Taylor @ Reading is the Thing

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    1. I'm so glad to have brought this to your notice-it's definitely worth a read!

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  6. Oh, this one sounds really interesting, and fresh - something we don't see a lot of in YA with the subject matter, but I LIKE that about it. It's awesome the author really knew how to keep everything building throughout.


    Molli | Once Upon a Prologue

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    1. I like how fresh it felt-I have read barely any Indian YA fiction but have enjoyed pretty much every book I tried.

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  7. Indian history, now that's history I'm sadly lacking in. I do enjoy multiple narration and the plot appeals so I'll keep an eye out for this one.

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    1. It's so interesting and I loved how the author kept it personal-that's why we read fiction, right?

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  8. I do like dark and violent books, hih :) I don't think this would be a book for me, but I'm glad you enjoyed it :D

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    1. Yeah, not too violent here but certainly some dark moments as we look into human nature.

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