Living and studying abroad, Rachel becomes aware of her unique identity as an Indian and a Jew. She also takes a keen interest in the movements for social change that were then sweeping across India.
Rachel's story, of love, loss, some unexpectedly warm relationships, and immense personal growth, intersperses with that of her father's life, and the troubled paths they traverse before reaching a place of forgiveness and reconciliation.
It also gives us valuable glimpses of the history of the community of Baghdadi Jews that has been part of Kolkata since the latter part of the eighteenth century. Although there are now very few members of this community left in the city, the heritage remains in some place names and some beautiful historic buildings, traces of the immense economic contribution the Baghdadi Jews made to their adopted country.
Each chapter heading has been beautifully illustrated by the author, who, like her protagonist's father, also wears many hats. (More about her in a later post).
The Man With Many Hats by Jael Silliman,
Published by Jael Silliman, 2013
Price: Rs. 295
Available on Flipkart, doorstepbooks.com and Amazon India