Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity by Katherine Boo

Behind the Beautiful ForeversNot for the faint of heart. By the time I got to this book at the bottom of my pile, I had forgotten it was nonfiction and kept waiting for the story to begin…..I was dismayed to look again and see that this work is the product of real interviews of the residents of Annawaddi, a slum in Mumbai, India, built next to an airport (and a row of western style hotels separated from the ugliness of the slum by a wall papered with ‘beautiful forever beautiful forever beautiful forever’ slogans). The reality and brutality that the people here live with on a daily basis was shocking, discouraging, and faith-in-humans-or-any-justice shaking. Even the charitable efforts by those attempting to assist children, minorities, and women are spoiled and taken over by rampant corruption throughout all the classes and government/private factions. Very discouraging book.

Reviewed by Laura R.


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