The book narrative isn’t interesting enough, but it may hold appeal as a history book, says our preteen reviewer Aditi Amritesh.
Across The Seven Seas: Indian Travellers’ Tales from the Past, by Anuradha Kumar and published by Hachette India, is one of those rare books that didn’t quite appeal to me at all. The short, kids’-novel style of the book made me think I was in for an interesting read by a new-age author with remarkable storytelling skills. However, I found the presentation of this book rather bland and monotonous, not far from a history textbook. The author’s choice of historical tales included in this book are okay, but only a few of the stories really appealed to me, not because they’re well-told, but because their original storylines are nice. The author’s style of retelling these tales, however, did not interest me.
One story which caught my interest was that of The Shampooing Surgeon, because it was an unusual tale. The story was described quite well and gave me an interesting account of bathhouses and how they worked in Britain.
In my opinion, Across the Seven Seas would make for a better textbook than a casual read. Most History textbooks aren’t very interesting and easily bore students but this book could work as a good alternative for a curriculum such as CBSE.
I would recommend this book to a 9+ years age group audience who can tarry through a plain narrative. The book is unlikely to spark any spontaneous conversations (at best, it could inspire a travel expedition!).
As obvious from my views here, Across the Seven Seas by Anuradha Kumar did not keep me engaged. It took me a long time and lots of breaks just to get over with the book. Though this author has written other books, her writing really isn’t working in this genre. I was saddened by the lack of quality storytelling. In short, this book was much less than expected and quite disappointing.
Overall Rating: 2.5 stars