Set in India and Australia, this wonderful family saga, Elephants with Headlights is both beautifully written, and evocative, in its story. The descriptive language carries the reader along, immersed in the lives of the characters, their hopes and dreams, loves and desires.
The Indian family consists of a loving grandmother, a very determined and strong- minded mother, an astute businessman father, and two young adult children. The Indian customs and traditions are thought to be all important for the weddings which must take place for Neel, the son, and Savitri, the daughter.
It is here that the problems arise. Neel has met an Australian girl whom he wishes to marry. Tota, his mother, is bitterly disappointed in his choice and feels, if she can get rid of Mae, his fiancé, she will find him an Indian girl to wed.
Savitri has a serious problem in that she was born under a very inauspicious sign, something that will blight any intended relationships. There is great pressure on the parents to help their children wed and settle.
An ancient Guru comes to town and Siddharth, the father, is taken by his daughter to meet this man. Her father is very dismissive, only thinking about his next business meeting, but the Guru, who senses his disbelief, casts a spell on the man, which complicates both his business life and his family life. There is a great feeling of love and struggle for power in this family, but everyone is desperate to follow their own path.
Each of the characters is beautifully composed; the ancient grandmother is inactive, but very much a force in the lives of her grandchildren. The desperate need for the family heritage to continue is a huge issue for the older generation. The gentle humour and equally gentle pathos surrounding the ancient grandmother is unforgettable.
Elephants with Headlights will be a story that will stay with the you for a long time. Despite all the anxiety generated, there is a core of tranquillity which seems to transmit to the reader and bring a sense of peace and comfort.
|Author||Bem Le Hunte|