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Sea of Poppies (2008, Brand: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, Farrar, Straus and Giroux) 4 stars

Review of 'Sea of Poppies' on Goodreads

2 stars

Very seldom can a novel be summed up in one sentence. If it can, I don't feel it bodes well for the writing. Here goes:

A disparate group of people in India eventually meet up on a ship.

If a second sentence were necessary, then maybe either: Stuff happens; or This is their story. As you can see, the second sentence doesn't really add much that isn't already implied.

First off, there are some good points to this novel. It is impeccably well researched. Both the setting of 19th-century India and the nautical aspects are very informative. We get a very detailed picture of the life and times of the people and the culture. Even the seafaring component will be familiar to readers of Patrick O'Brian's Aubrey-Maturin novels. It's that good. The only slip-up may be a tendency to go overboard with the local vernacular. Local dialect is used for …