Wednesday, May 21, 2014
Biting Through the Skin - Review
Biting Through the Skin by Nina Mukerjee Furstenau
Rating: 3 Stars
Description: When Nina Mukerjee Furstenau is a small child in the 1960s her parents take her and her brother and leave India and move their family first to Chicago and then to the small town of Pittsburgh, Kansas. This is Nina's tale of growing up while trying to find the balance of holding on to her heritage and culture and fitting in.
Pros: I love a good food memoir and this one had a special interest to me because I haven't had much dealings with Indian food. The recipes looked very tasty and with very few exceptions called for ingredients I've seen at my local grocery store. Nina's writing is so lyrical and descriptive you can almost taste the vibrant flavors and see her mother making curry or roti. There is so much information I didn't realize about the Indian food itself and the differences between our American versions of Indian cuisine and the variety of foods in the different regions of India. I also found her family trying to fit in a somewhat universal issue here in the U.S. Many of us have had family who have maintained their cultural links in secret while trying to fit in to the world around them.
Cons: While for the most part I enjoyed Furstenau's writing style there were times she got a little too caught up in the descriptions and I found myself skimming. It also lacked a little focus and at times felt a little like she was jumping around a bit.
Overall: I enjoyed this look at Indian cuisine and culture through the eyes of someone coming of age in America. I loved her focus on the food being so important to holding on to her heritage. While I didn't fall in love with the book it was an enjoyable and interesting read.
Would I Read More of this Series/Author?: Yes
Would I Recommend this Book?: Yes