"Behind the Beautiful Forevers" is a work of non-fiction set in the slums of Mumbai, particularly, Annawadi. Boo follows the lives of several different people, like Abdul, a teenager who recycles garbage to earn money for his family, and Manju, a young woman who hopes to be the first college graduate in Annawadi. She offers a very personal look into their lives, thoughts, and feelings as they face the hardships of growing up in the slums.
Boo examines issues of poverty, corruption, religious and caste tensions as well as the profound hope of a people trying to lift themselves out of poverty. This book is beautifully written and reads like a novel. There were several times where I had to remind myself that these were not just characters, but real people. Some moments were so shocking, and honest, it was difficult to accept that these scenes were happening just half a world away.
Katherine Boo spent years in India working on this book, recording interviews, researching, and listening, and her efforts show. "Behind the Beautiful Forevers" is an exciting, heart-breaking, beautiful look at life in the slums of Mumbai and I highly recommend it.
If you'd like to purchase "Behind the Beautiful Forevers", you can buy it on Amazon. It is still in hardcover, so you may want to wait until it comes out in paperback, or until it's available at your local library. Happy reading!