Book Review: The Ground Beneath Her Feet

Based loosely on the Greek myth of Orpheus and Eurydice, the ground beneath her feet follows the adventures of Vina Apsara and Ormus Cama who share a love that transcends all worlds (literally) as narrated by their friend rai. Although the themes are not new- love after death, fame, traumatised celebrities- Salman Rushdie’s writing transforms it into something much more. The settings were so wonderfully described that it took me back to Ormus and Vina’s Mumbai (or Bombay to be more appropriate) , he artfully gives you a tour of the high flying (pun intended) world of 90’s rock and roll, which is as wild as the protagonist Vina herself. The book touches on almost all topics-philosophy, life, love and of course death. A little too meditative and abstract for my taste at some moments, but it is well compensated by the plot and Rushdie's prose.

Although it starts as a regular conventional love story, girl and boy meet each other and there’s an instant connection; Vina’s past and willfulness won’t allow he to be tied down to one man for the rest of her life , not even the man she loves, it is not a conventional story. One word to describe this love story would be cataclysmic- it has the power to change the world, but it also rebounds in disastrous ways for the people around them.

However, the book deviates from reality a couple of times, entering a limbo world of fantasy and the subconscious which waned my interest for a couple of pages. That being said, I loved the journey through old Bombay, Vina and Ormus' courtship and Rai’s wry narration throughout.

Overall, the book is a definite must-read, the characters are complex and the themes really get you thinking.