“The Bridge Home: by Padma Venkatraman seemed boring and hard to understand at first. The book is based in india, so when reading it you’ll have to get used to a few things. 1- the names. The names can sometimes be hard to differentiate from the foods, but it gets easier as you read. 2- Aunty. In the book, the term aunty is used by a child to respect a woman, rather than just describing the child’s relation to her.
The story is about two girls living in Chennai, after their abusive father beats them and their mother, they steal a small amount of money and run away to Delhi. The money burns quickly, and the girls are soon left with nothing. On the first night, they find a footbridge with an abandoned tent on it. they set up their stuff, and then one of the two kids already sleeping in the tent (Not so abandoned now, is it?) returns. The next one follows soon after, but the young boys are not harsh to the girls. They soon become friends, and agree to help provide for each other.
The sister’s names are Viji and Rukku, while the boy’s names are Muthu and Arul. Rukku has some mental disability, so it is us to the rest to help out. On the first day together, the boys take Viji and Rukku to “The Himalayas”. I put quotation marks because it is not actually the himalayas. That is the boy’s nickname for the mountains of trash that they sort through every day. They are given a sack by a man, and then the kids sort through the piles of rubbish looking for glass and metal. They collect these recyclables and then give them to the “Waste Mart Man” who pays them. This is how they keep themselves fed.
When the girl’s were still alone though, they broke a glass at a tea stand, and worked off the money to pay for it. While working, they met a nice lady who gave Rukku materials for beaded necklaces. Rukku made these mindlessly while the others sorted trash, and was later able to sell them for 150 rupees a piece to a few college girls. Compare this to the 200 they started out with, and this was incredible. The rest involves a graveyard,an ally turned enemy, and a fight against the cruel reality of a large city. This was a terrific book, and clocking in at only 187 pages, an easy read for all. This book does not fit any genre, but is great for everyone.