Wisdom From Kammbia Book Review 32: A Time To Dance by Padma Venkatraman

One of the joys of reading is discovering a book (or author) you would have never come across in your normal reading experience. I will confess upfront that I’m not that much of a fan of YA novels. Reading about teenagers (or young adults) and their problems or issues does not move me as a reader.

However, the power of story will always supersede any reading preferences or biases a reader may have. A Time to Dance by Padma Venkatraman is the perfect example of such a book that can break one’s reading biases.

A Time to Dance is the story of Veda, a dance prodigy from India whose entire world revolves around the ancient dance form of Bharatanatyam. However, a car accident leaves her as a below-knee amputee and she has to find her way back to life she once had prior to the accident.

Veda refuses to let the disability to keep her dancing again and she begins on a path to recapture her prior life. Veda meets a young man Govinda, who teaches her how to dance with her prosthetic leg and learn that dance is not only physical and mental but spiritual.

Padma Venkatraman created a compelling protagonist with Veda and with other characters like her grandmother Paati, the American doctor Jim who made the prosthetic leg for her, and Govinda.

A Time to Dance is a powerful, inspirational novel that celebrates the resilient spirit of a person never giving up on their dreams and how dance can heal someone in a multitude of ways.

I had shared recently my favorite reads of 2019. However, I will have to update that list and enthusiastically add A Time to Dance along with A Shadow in Summer by Daniel Abraham, Go Went Gone by Jenny Erpenbeck, The Chef’s Secret by Crystal King, and Ascending by Meg Pechenick as my top reads of 2019. Highly recommended.

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