CLIMBING THE STAIRS
New York : G.P. Putnam's Sons, 2008
year is 1941, the place, India. Vidya is 15 years old, and unlike other
girls her age who are consumed with the idea of impeding nuptials, she
dreams only of attending college. Being the outspoken, willful, and adventurous
girl she is, she unknowingly pulls her father into a protest march that
turns violent where he is brutally attacked and rendered brain damaged.
Now Vidya and her close-knit family are forced to move into her paternal
uncle's traditional household where the women are expected to be subservient
to men and are married off as soon as possible. This shatters Vidya's dreams
of attending college. Vidya’s heart is heavy with her sense of responsibility
for her father's disability, her changing role as a young woman in a traditional
family, and the pressures she now feels to accept an arranged marriage.
While taking care of her aunt’s baby as one of her chores, Vidya breaks
the rules and sneaks up the stairs into the library that is off limits
to women. Not only does she find refuge there, she meets a young man named
Raman. She is surprised to discover she is attracted to this young man
who treats her as an equal and encourages her to pursue her intellectual
interest. Read Climbing the Stairs by Padma Venkatraman, and go with Vidya
into an unknown and uncertain future.
Prepared by: Carol Ross for South Carolina Young Adult Book Award Nominees, 2010-2011
Family life -- India -- Fiction.
Prejudices -- Fiction.
Brain damage -- Fiction.
India -- History -- British occupation, 1765-1947 -- Fiction.