My rating: 4 of 5 stars
As you may gather from this, I am a fan of Sita Brahamachari. I think Artichoke Hearts and Jasmine Skies are two of the best, most perceptive and impressive books I’ve read for a long time. She is an exciting and brilliant writer.
Kite Spirit opens with Kite discovering that her best friend has taken her life. Struggling to cope with her grief over losing Dawn, Kite is taken away to the countryside to help her recover.
The main thing to note about Brahmachari is that she writes with an incredible grace. She is very, very good at getting to the truth inside her work, be that the emotional heartache of Mira in Artichoke Hearts or the near-incomprehensible pain of Kite in Kite Spirit.
So why does Kite Spirit lack a star? It lacks a star, and it pains me that it does, but it lacks it because I longed for this book to be written in the first person voice. It opens in that, spilling the bright lovely Kite onto the page and then retreats into a third person narration for the rest of the book, only descending into first person intermittently. I struggled with that shift, wanting (so much) for the wild grace of Brahmachari’s more experimental prose to sing and for that perceptive, sympathetic elegance of her writing to be given full sway. Telling Kite’s story in third person just didn’t work for me, despite the intensely glorious nature of the story itself.
Essentially I wanted more, because I know Brahmachari is capable of that. She’s so very capable.
But the thing is, despite that probably quite personal reservation of mine, there’s a magic about Kite Spirit that can’t be denied. Reading a book by Brahmachari is a very precious thing indeed. And Kite Spirit is a more than fitting tribute to one of the best writers to emerge on the scene in recent years. It’s a book that is packed full of truth, sadness and a very quiet humanity.