By Kelley Crawford
Different Lives Intertwine in the Winding Plot of Jennifer Bradbury’s A Moment Comes.
Summary: The year 1947 was a time of change for India, and those changes altered not only the country’s borders but also the everyday existence of India’s citizens. Jennifer Bradbury highlights the struggles and tenderness that come from those times of change through the voices of Tariq, Margaret, and Anupreet. They are three teenagers with extremely different backgrounds who find themselves all living and working under the same house. Tariq is an assistant to the owner of the house—Margaret’s dad who is a cartographer and possibly Tariq’s reference that will get him accepted to Oxford. Anupreet works in the kitchen and quickly finds a friend in Margaret, the rebellious flirt who challenges her mother with every chance she gets. As Margaret’s father works on drawing the divisions that will split India in half, these three characters find themselves more and more entangled with each other. Tariq’s attraction to Margaret and Anupreet leave him breathless with confusion while Margaret’s deceptive and flirtatious advances allow her to dive further into the Indian culture than she imagined. Anupreet remains observant of the new discoveries she’s being exposed to, but when bombs, revenge, and violent rebellion end up in their backyard, all of these now entangled characters must learn how to weave their own path in their lives and in the new world that is India.
Review: Bradbury has taken on the arduous task of presenting a large historical event (postcolonial India) as the backbone of A Moment Comes, and she does it honestly and what seems to be effortlessly. The characters are believable, sincere, and absolutely engaging. With each chapter break comes a different point of view from each of the characters, and just like their lives weave in and out of each other’s, so does the story that Bradbury has crafted.
Bottom Line: A factual read with just as much heart as logic
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