Amla Mater is a very short graphic novel in which the narrator recounts her childhood memories. The act of making gooseberry pickle reminds her of the times she had spent in Kerala with her childhood friend, Maya.
I was very intrigued by the title of the book and also the fact that it’s a graphic novel. However, I found it to be an okay read. For starters, the sketches weren’t all that captivating and in my opinion, didn’t add to the story. There was some kind of a formatting issue which disrupted my reading experience. There’d be text missing or aligned haphazardly. Moreover, this book was too short for me to actually connect with the story. On the other hand, reading this book reminded me of my grandmother because she too, like Maya’s grandmother, makes delicious gooseberry pickle. So that’s the one thing I liked – I could relate to the essential theme of being grounded to your roots. I wish this book had been written a bit more elaborately to allow us readers some more insight into the life of the narrator. That way the author’s intent would have been delivered with much more clarity.
Ratings – 2.5 out of 5 stars
What do you get out of it? A quick read that’s filled with cultural emblems and transports the reader to their own childhood.
Thank you Yali Books for sending me an eARC in exchange for an honest review.