Gifted by Nikita Lalwani

In books read on September 11, 2007

This is a book that I'd expected to like from the blurb, but I didn't really hit it off with it.

It's all about Rumi, a supposedly "gifted" mathematician, who takes her O and A Levels early and is aiming to get to the University of Oxford at an early age spurred on mostly by her father. I liked Rumi and found her family to be pretty convincing characters but, perhaps because of my own maths degrees, I never found the school background to be very realistic.

I found the end of the book, where - this isn't really very much of a spoiler - Rumi gets to university and proceeds to go a bit off the rails to be both more interesting and credible than what came before.

This is (yet another) book that was longlisted for the Booker Prize this year. (I've got a little carried away reading the longlist!) It didn't make the shortlist and I think that the judges got that right as there are at least six better books on the list.


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