Butterfly in the Wind by Lakshmi Persaud - A Review

Published: Wednesday, 18 February 2009 Written by Nellie A. Jules 4D
Butterfly in the Wind, is a West Indian novel based mainly in the rural East Indian
village of Pasea in Trinidad. Lakshmi Persaud takes us back to the 1900's and presents us with a multitude of religions and ethnic backgrounds

The novel though, focuses more on the people of Indian descent, as seen in little Kamla. She is the main character in the novel and she- as is her entire family- is of the Hindu religion. Kamla gives a detailed description of her experiences and the many things she learned, the way she thought, and the dilemmas she faced as a little girl, growing up in a traditional Hindu community in Trinidad with a queer inner voice and a curiousity uncharacteristic of the ordinary Hindu female- that more likely than not- got her into trouble.

 Kamla was the most amicable character, mainly because as she grew and her mind developed, it could be seen that she did not think like the average Hindu person. She questioned a lot of things, and asked questions, which she thought, were needed to be answered, if not to satisfy her curiousity, then to satisfy her anxiety or agitation. The reader could especially relate to Kamla, because like her, when curiousity needs to be satisfied, it can be quite an annoying voice, that is persistent and will not be silenced. Many of the questions she asked herself, have been asked and the reader has faced some of the dilemmas or conundrums that faced her also. Anybody of West Indian descent or ancestry can relate to the novel, even though it deals with Indian backgrounds and ethnicity.

 The novel was very pleasant to read, and extremely informative about the customs of the Hindu religion, and to a wider extent, the villagers of Pasea. The most favourite part of the book, were the parts- and there were many- where there were vivid sight, sound, and smell imagery. It made the reader feel like they were actually diving into an unfamiliar society, and were actually able to understand where Kamla was coming from.

 I really liked this book because it taught me a lot of things that I did not know before. At some points I got angry with some of the characters in the novel but overall, it was exciting to read about Kamla's life. I would recommend this book to anyone willing to learn about an unfamiliar culture and society, and anyone with an open mind. I also think that teenagers like myself would be willing and enjoy reading Butterfly in the Wind.


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