Recommended by sageofgodalming. I enjoyed this book . . . the story is lovely; however, it took me a long time to read, as I had trouble "processing" the language . . . partly, I think, because of the "archaic" style of writing, but also because much of the book is dialogue written to reflect a variety of Indian "dialects" (I hope that's the right word) . . . lots of flowery language, and sentences constructed in ways very different from English as I'm familiar with it. I had to read this book in short spurts . . . after a while, I would find I just wasn't grasping the meaning anymore of what I was reading, and I'd have to put it down and pick it up again later, when my mind was a bit "fresher." ::grin::
Having said that, it was worth the effort . . . Set in India in around the turn of the 20th century (at least, that's when it was written), it's a lovely story about a "Sahib" (English) boy who is orphaned, and grows up on the streets, as a native. Well, not even as any one type of native; he's very good at blending in with just about anyone (something that becomes very important later on). He attaches himself to a Tibetan lama, who has come to India in search of a sacred river which will free him off all sin . . . the story follows the boy, Kim, as well as the lama and a number of other people he meets along the way. It's about spying and politics and spirituality, and interactions between people with different backgrounds and beliefs. Very rich, and the way the people are with one another is so different from what I'm used to in my own time and culture . . . very interesting to read.
I think the single thing that had the most impact was the relationship between Kim and the lama . . . it's a really interesting, loving and deep relationship. Kim actually has a number of very strong friendships in the portion of his life that we follow, and it's lovely to read about people who care about one another and the interactions they have. I don't want to say too much more, or I'd be going into spoiler terrritory.
I would recommend this book, even though I found it a bit difficult to read. I tend to have trouble with that sort of thing anyway (I don't like Tolkien, either), so I suspect that's more something about the way my own brain is "wired" than an issue that most other people would have with the book. (Library book)
Thanks, D! :-)
As usual, X-posted to 50bookchallenge