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Dignity

Narrated by: Antonia Beamish
Length: 11 hrs and 2 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (12 ratings)

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Summary

Magda lives alone in her a huge house by the sea. Bad tempered and elderly, Magda does not need help from anyone, despite being wheelchair bound. With her sharp tongue, she gets through carers at a rate of knots, until Susheela arrives. 

And Susheela, it turns out, is in even more trouble than Magda. Still reeling from the recent death of her mum and trying to prop up her dad, who is at risk of losing the family business, she finds she is pregnant. The future suddenly looks uncertain and frightening. 

But Magda and Susheela strike up an unlikely and sometimes uneasy friendship. Magda finds herself thinking back to her early childhood in colonial India before she was sent 'home' to England: a childhood filled with servants and privilege but also terrible secrets. 

We also follow the story of her mother, Evelyn, once a warmhearted and free-spirited schoolteacher who slowly has all life and optimism ground away by a controlling husband and the misery of being a respectable member of the ruling classes. What becomes clear is that Evelyn searched for home for a long time, just like Magda, just like Susheela. And Magda begins to realise that home might not be a fortress to be ferociously defended but may mean something else altogether. 

Thoughtful, clever and beautifully observed, Dignity considers the legacy of the Raj in Britain today but, more importantly, what it means to belong to a place and to other people.

©2019 Alys Conran (P)2019 Orion Publishing Group Ltd

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

So good I finished it in 2 days

This book is wonderful. Beautifully written, expertly weaved stories tell the tale of 3 women living through different times. It paints such a vivid picture of colonial India during the Raj, then brings you effortlessly into present day England with it’s very real social and political issues. I loved every word and every character. Dignity is such a moving book and one that stays with you. It’s quite simply exceptional.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • JJ
  • 17-07-19

Brilliant book

I loved this book so much, I‘m struggling to find another to follow it. The book spans three generations of females (one unrelated) and examines their relationship to colonial India and its legacy. I would love to read more books which further explore these themes more deeply, but I‘m having trouble finding any - Recommendations welcome!

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Not enthralled

I began with enjoyment but lost interest as the story lost momentum. The end was disappointing, unconvincing and full of loose ends. Most of the voices in the narration were consistent.