AUDIOBOOK REVIEW: She of the Mountains by Vivek Shraya

The Official Description: In the beginning, there is no he. There is no she.

Two cells make up one cell. This is the mathematics behind creation. One plus one makes one. Life begets life. We are the period to a sentence, the effect to a cause, always belonging to someone. We are never our own.

This is why we are so lonely.

She of the Mountains is a beautifully rendered illustrated novel that weaves a passionate contemporary love story with a retelling of an epic Hindu legend. A gay man of Indian origin learns to embrace his own sexuality, yet he is the most surprised of all when he enters into a relationship with a woman. Interwoven with this story is a re-imagining of Hindu mythology concerning the gods Shiva and Parvati and their elephant-headed son Ganesh. Both narratives explore the complexities of embodiment and the damaging effects that policing gender and sexuality can have on the human heart; together, they honor the concept of the feminine in all its forms

Narrator of Audiobook: The author

Just the facts: Audiobook, two stories: a queer love story and Hindu myth.

My thoughts bit: This isn’t the kind of audiobook I would normally listen to. I generally prefer audiobooks that are narrated by voice actors. This one was quite enjoyable.

The author does a great job of conveying the two different stories. I understand that the physical book has art in it… I didn’t feel as though the audiobook was lacking in any way but I’m curious to see the paper book now!

I don’t even know if I can aptly describe what these two stories are about. Pavarti, Ganesh, and Shiv make up the retelling of the Hindu myth of creation. The story of an unnamed bisexual person makes up the other half of the book. The child deals with homophobic bullying and it’s captured in a visceral way by the author’s reading.

I suppose both of these stories are about creation…whether creating life or creating one’s self. It certainly made me think a lot about gender.

The prose is very lyrical… and the author’s voice is lovely. The combination of the two was quite moving at times.

I would definitely recommend this to anyone who is interested in gender.

I received an ARC of She Of The Mountains by Vivek Shraya from ECW Press in exchange for an unbiased review.

ratings legend

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