Like the Vegetarian Festival I saw in Phuket Thailand, this book's name belies something much more violent and warped than I'd originally expected. I knew the book would be about a woman's rebellion from her husband's patriarchy. But it was really a psychological portrait of a woman and the successive traumas she undergoes from childhood to adulthood and the ways she's internalized and later exhibits the devastating impact.
It was so good. Part of what made it so good was its unique structure. Told in three parts by three different narrators who try to get a grasp on one woman's spiral into psychosis. The first is the husband's, the second is the brother in law's, and the third is her older sister's. From the husband's point of view, we see her as a rebellious, or in the extreme, even magical figure. In the second, we understand she is possessed by something, but we don't quite understand it. From the third, only with the deep understanding siblings can have of one another, we realize where the root of her problems came from in her past.
Throughout the book's sections, too, we see also how mental disorder is perceived by the men circling the sick woman: as rebellion, as a personal affront, or as titillating seduction - yes, always about themselves.