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Book Review - The Ashram

Reviewer - Judi(Simran) Silva

What novel can you access where not only does East meet West but also where the aspects of their combined cultures, rituals and spirituality are creatively intertwined into a well rounded wonderfully written story? Only within the pages of The Ashram by Sattar Memon will you find such a suspenseful action/adventure packed, spiritually, romantic novel, which explores the age-old questions of love, life and death.

It has been called a novel that "awakens the consciousness" and “immerses the reader in a sensory bath that is India.” The Ashram is a beautifully written story, which touches on the subjects of spirituality, grieving for the loss of a loved one, violence against woman and the journey of learning to love again. It will touch the heart of anyone reading it, no matter what culture or background you come from. 

It is a gripping tale that will keep you riveted to your seat until the last page is completed. Despite being fiction, it takes you to a time and place where suttee, although outlawed, still took place in reality. Steeped in mystery and spiritual enlightenment, it will enthrall you, as you anxiously turn from one page to the next. Not wanting to put it down before the cat and mouse game is finished, it will keep you guessing until the puzzle is solved and the secrets are revealed.

It's powerful but not preachy, suspenseful yet romantic. Filled with action and adventure, it is also a story about finding oneself, as it explores the timeless questions about life and death. Written over a period of ten years as a labor of love for abused women and those who have lost and want to learn to love again, Sattar infuses his every being into this tale that you won‘t want to miss out on reading. 

The Ashram is available at Amazon.com, Border Books and Barnes and Noble book stores.

Because it also deals with the abuse of women, the proceeds from the sale of The Ashram
will be disseminated among several women's groups who not only deal with
abuse but also help the survivors to get back on their feet and find
their voice, identity and place within the community. One such group is
Saheli "A South Asian woman's support group and advocate of woman's right
against violence? http://www.saheliboston.org/, who have partnered with
Namaskar India of Rhode Island.

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