Flute in the Forest
Year of Release: 2010
Author: Leela Gour Broome
Reading age: 12-14
After reading ‘ Earthquake Boy,‘ I picked this book by the same author, Leela Gour Broome. But, this book has a different theme and a different setup. However, the author has kept one thing in common – her straightforward writing style and a story based on a child’s life- facing difficulties and learning to overcome them.
The protagonist is a 13-year-old girl Atiya, who lives at the forest’s edge with her father. Her father is a nature lover and works as a forest officer who is hardworking and well respected in his circles. Atiya, inflicted with Polio at a very early age, lives a lonely life. Her parents are separated. With no mother to talk her heart out to, a busy father, and classmates who prefer to make more fun of her rather than empathizing with her and being friendly, Atiya feels lonely and sad. Atiya is young and ambitious. But she is confused about her future. She doesn’t know what she should choose to do after she completes her 10th Grade exams and is filled with doubts. With practically no one to advise her or even provide company, she finds solace in the sights, sounds, and calmness of the forest. Her secret treks to the woods become a regular affair as she finds comfort and feels instinctively connected with the forest. On one such trip, she hears the beautiful sound of the flute played by someone in the woods. She finds it so mesmerizing and comforting that she immediately decides that she would like to learn to play the flute.
She ventures deeper into the forest, curious, looking for the flute player. From here begins a new life for Atiya, leading her into new adventures, encounters, and experiences that will have a long-lasting impact on the young girl’s mind and eventually pave the path for her future.
Here are some of the things, I found interesting:
-The author has picked a beautiful storyline and has cleverly connected the finer nuances of human behavior and compared them with those of animals to point out that although we are different, we are surprisingly similar in many ways. She has succeeded in directing the reader to the thought that probably, nature created common elements that could touch the souls of humans and animals alike. That, in my view, is a thought-provoking idea.
-The description of the forest’s sights and sounds is a treat for nature lovers, and the author has delivered that with utmost generosity.
-The first few chapters move very slowly, making the reader wonder where the story is heading. In some places, the language seemed a bit repetitive. But eventually, it all comes together and starts making sense. The characters and their names too seem a bit confusing in the beginning, but as one reads the book further, it becomes clear, and one understands that it’s just a different writing style.
For me, the storyline is the highlight. The author has knitted together this young girl’s life with music and life in the forest in this heartfelt tale.
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