Rescuing Renu - Book Review by Sufi Swarup


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Sufi Swarup reviews the novel about an Indian returning to India from abroad to grapple with aspects of her family history, identity and cultural critique.

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Rescuing Renu - Book Review by Sufi Swarup

  1. 1. 54 Nov 09 - Nov 15, 2012 | Vol. 06 | Issue 11 Books Rescuing Ranu - A Story of Strength, Exploitation, Love, and Culture • ‘Rescuing Ranu’ is a beautiful novel written by Cheryl Snell and it can be A purchased from • Swarup is a freelance writer and editor based in Bangalore, India. s I read through ‘Rescu- such an important part of the world who are not allowed to ing Ranu’, I could re- novel. Their worlds are so grow out of their innocence. late to Nela many different from each other. They are not allowed to raise times. I could understand And they are two forms of a their voices. They are not al- why she had to wear the ‘woman’. Ranu is very sub- lowed to enjoy life or be heavy chain and how embar- missive, innocent, lost, and happy. They are exploited to rassed she was at the air- exploited. Nela is brave, as- keep others happy. They are port, trying to hide it from sertive, educated, strong, made to work and made to others’ view. I admire her as- sure, and thoughtful. feel obliged for every morsel sertiveness even as she asked Nela took the time to know, of food they eat or every her colleague to find another understand, and bond with drop of water they drink. I place for the candidate. Ranu. She felt bad for Ranu. hope that all the Ranus in I enjoyed the interaction and She recognized her innocence this world would meet a Nela conversation that happened and her pathetic state. She who would rescue them from between Nela and Jackson. willingly opened her heart to slavery! Each and every char- There is so much to learn the little girl and gave her acter adds so much meaning from there about their native place in her heart and her to the story. There is so much cultures. There is frequent life. Nela’s interaction with to learn from this book. Nela reference to how Nela’s rela- Ranu speaks volumes about helps us look at the varied tives considered her unmar- Nela’s character. She is a lov- aspects of the two cultures riageable and gave her ing, genuine, and caring per- and their traditions, good or strange looks. son who went through all the bad, through her eyes. She Nela proves to us that most trouble to save Ranu from gives us a clear picture of of us are attached to our na- Mami and her uncle. Not only life itself. Wherever we go, tive culture. She chooses to did she stop at adopting Ranu we cannot escape the reali- go back to her native land for as her daughter, but she did ties of life. The reality is all solace during her time of dis- all she could to help Ranu around Nela and she keeps appointment and sadness. forget the past and enjoy her bumping into them again and I would call the meeting of life. again and is forced to deal Nela with Ranu a sub plot. Ranu reminded me of so with them. And she does a This part of the story forms many little girls around the good job!