Archives for the month of: September, 2015

MyHumbleOpinion’s review of Desire of the Moth: a novel.


This book is a literary masterpiece – but not in a dull, preachy, high-brow way. It has all the appeal of a cool movie like Footloose (dare to dance and face the consequences) but with the importance of a classic, timeless novel. Bilwakesh has managed to write a novel with such attention to literary detail, precision of language, and historical significance that you almost forget while you are reading it that the plot is spellbinding, surprising, and relatable. In this way, it is a sacred text. I have read my fair share of books like this that leave you so devastated with the ending that you can’t think straight for days. Sometimes endings like that seem like a shortcut to pull at the emotions of the reader. I prefer this ending that is more nuanced and realistic. It doesn’t romanticize or vilify the past and antiquated traditions. I think we look to people who break down cultural and gender stereotypes in favor of justice and progression as heroes, but Bilwakesh’s story shows how truly complicated it is. There is no winning or losing or right and wrong – there are only consequences. Everyone in our heart’s field is affected by decisions we make that are out of the ordinary. Although future generations may benefit, there are sacrifices that must be made by all the people who are connected to the “hero.”


Latest Review for Desire of the Moth


August 11, 2015
A beautiful story teller! Thoroughly enjoyed the book and it’s nuances. The tale weaves together a poignant picture of practices of the time when widowhood ostracized women from mainstream life as well as brings out the strength and courage of women who chose different paths. In particular, it has a special significance for dancers today to understand that there was a time when dance was not socially accepted as an art form and frowned upon. Towards the end, the book captures intuitively a spiritual path that comes from the practice of dance – one that unites a person with oneself.
5.0 out of 5 stars From Tragedy to Triumph, August 29, 2015
By Karen B. Leonard “Karen Isaksen Leonard”
 This book is a very good read, and it works at the level of the individual character (a young Brahmin widow), the region (south India), and the nation (India during the nationalist movement). The cover is lovely and suggests the eventual move from tragedy to triumph of the heroine. The author writes well, deftly setting the various contexts with care and knowledge, and the heroine is a very sympathetic figure indeed. I don’t want to comment on the plot but…once the turnaround began I found it more sketchy, less compelling (but with lots of family drama/professional drama/complexity). I certainly recommend it, fine work, evoking past histories with flair and compassion.