Most people in America do not realize how lucky they actually are. They may think that they have it pretty bad until they learn about different cultures in different places of the world. If you are looking for an action packed, cultural experience, consider reading the novel Behind the Beautiful Forevers, by Katherine Boo. This intense, emotional, and eye-opening novel will hopefully change your mindset, and make you appreciate your life. It will teach you that you should open your eyes and look at the world around you. You may be struggling, but you are not alone, and there are other people struggling as well.
Behind the Beautiful Forevers is set in an Indian slum called Annawadi. Poverty is the hardest obstacle for everyone in Annawadi. Jobs are very hard to find, and even if people do have jobs, it is very hard for them to earn enough money to get by. The Annawadians live in tiny huts made from whatever they can afford, and the huts are very dirty. Most, if not all, Annawadians struggle to even find food to eat. Abdul, a young man, spends his days working as a garbage collector. As the novel goes on, characters face many challenges, and Abdul is blamed for a horrible crime. This results in Abdul being forced to leave Annawadi. Asha, a young woman in Annawadi, is the political leader. Her daughter, Manju, is the first college graduate in Annawadi. These two women are some of the most important and successful people in Annawadi. All of the characters go through the challenges of Annawadi together. Will they escape Annawadi? Or will they stay in Annawadi and suffer?
I highly recommend reading Behind the Beautiful Forevers if you are interested in learning about new cultures, or if you need inspiration to be more thankful for what you have. I loved learning about a different culture other than my own. It really sparked many ideas in my mind, and made me so much more appreciative. This book was also very descriptive and it made me feel like I was actually there as a character in Annawadi. Not only is this amazing novel a National Book Award Winner, and in the “10 Best Books” of the New York Times Book Review, but this novel is also a true story. The author, Katherine Boo, did a long four year study of the people of Annawadi. Katherine Boo truly experienced some very sad and horrible tragedies during her study. Her decision to write this novel was an amazing idea because she taught her readers how life truly is in different cultures. They can learn about the religions, customs, economics, and many other parts of the culture in Annawadi when reading this amazing story. If you ever have some free time, and you are considering reading a book, you should try Katherine Boo’s Behind the Beautiful Forevers.