Behind the Beautiful Forevers
Published on Monday, December 16, 2013 - 3:04pm
Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity by Katherine Boo
Behind the Beautiful Forevers takes the reader inside the settlement of Annawadi, one of numerous such settlements in the city of Mumbai in Western India. Katherine Boo, a Pulitzer-prize winning reporter, spent three years living in Annawadi in order to document the daily life for several of the residents. The resulting story often feels like a work of fiction, although it is all true.
You meet Abdul, a teenager who makes money for his family by collecting trash from the surrounding areas and selling it. You meet Anwa, a woman who tries to create a better life for her family by becoming involved in local politics, as corrupt as they may be. You will read about numerous other people, trying in various ways to make the most of their difficult situation.
Many of the compelling stories are brought together by a tragedy in the settlement that has far-reaching and disastrous consequences. The situation, often beyond the control of many of the people it is affecting, is extremely heartbreaking to witness. The author, due to her extended time in Annawadi, presents the story with great detail and fairness.
This book is not only a picture of a world that is likely very different from your own, but also a testament to people fighting to survive and excel in that world.