(4.67 out of 5)
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Ivan’s book is a story about the transformation of the human soul. Waif, orphan, prostitute, nurse, healer finally leading to near sainthood. While Ivan’s book is full of Christian meaning, in Advaita the gross body or Anamaya Kosha grows, transforms, decays and dies. To grow spiritually, one has to cleanse the body and simultaneously rise above it. Our spiritual development then can surpass our physical body as well. Saynt Lachmi our protagonist in Ivan’s story is a beautifully crafted character and we follow her travails and transformations throughout the book. Ivan’s writing style is exemplary; he moves from narrative to first person, to third person from romanised characters to italicised to make his points and draw his emphasis. It is sometimes difficult for a writer to express the deepest thoughts of any person. Ivan uses all the literary techniques at his command to do this with elan.The story of Lachmi is deeply provocating.
To experience a work of art is to read “Saynt Lachmi”. Ivan Arthur has created a masterpiece by presenting in a novel controversial concepts of love, sex, religion, culture, and of the physical body. To share more information about this remarkable book would be to give away the author’s creativity in helping the reader to think about his or her own beliefs and how they relate to the different characters as the story unfolds. A “must read!”Nirmal Almeida, Vagator, Goa
"Writer meets poet meets musician meets theologian. A beautifully written novel written with a sharp, colourful and cinematic grasp of subject, character and theme. With effortless, almost Dickensian ease, Ivan takes us on a journey of people he knows, exploring the innards of a city he loves deeply. His writing is sprinkled with insights, delivered with simplicity, compassion and empathy. As a Mumbaikar myself, I was blown away by his mix of grunge and grace, and his ability to deliver a love story without a shred of artifice."
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