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Bowdoin Reads

Samantha Caras '15 is reading...

Behind the Beautiful Forevers
by Katherine Boo

This summer I was forced to read an amazing book. I say that I was forced because a professor gave me a list of books to read over the summer in place of the prerequisites for a course I wanted to take (it is safe to say that I was less than excited to have required reading cut into my summer and replace my pleasure reading). However, I was pleasantly surprised when I discovered that one of these books was Behind the Beautiful Forevers by Katherine Boo. Behind the Beautiful Forevers is a novel that digs into the everyday lives of the inhabitants of Annawadi, a Mumbai slum. I fell in love with characters ranging from a one-legged woman who beats people with her crutches to a young boy who makes a living sorting trash from a nearby airport. Not only was it full of entertaining family drama, but it was also an amazing way to learn about everyday life in an Indian slum. I was fascinated by the role that religion and caste play in society and shocked to learn about the role of NGOs and the inequalities surrounding the availability of education. Behind the Beautiful Forevers is a book that I started reading for a class, kept reading because of how much I was learning, and will probably read again because of the plot.

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