Vijay... captures Shalini’s wary curiosity about the mountainous realm far to the north of her hometown ... What seems at first like a quiet, ruminative story of one woman’s grief slowly begins to spark with the energy of religious conflicts and political battles. Vijay draws us into the bloody history of this contested region and the cruel conundrum of ordinary lives trapped between outside agitators and foreign conquerors ... The Far Field is most poignant when it exposes the unintentional havoc of good intentions ... The Far Field offers something essential: a chance to glimpse the lives of distant people captured in prose gorgeous enough to make them indelible — and honest enough to make them real.
Vijay intertwines her story’s threads with dazzling skill. Dense, layered, impossible to pin—or put—down, her first novel is an engrossing tale of love and grief, politics and morality. Combining up-close character studies with finely plotted drama, this is a triumphant, transporting debut.
A ghastly secret lies at the heart of Madhuri Vijay’s stunning debut, and every chapter beckons us closer to discovering it ... chafes against the useless pity of outsiders and instead encourages a much more difficult solution: cross-cultural empathy.