Read A Hundred Hands by Dianne Noble Online


When Polly’s husband is jailed for paedophilia, she flees the village where her grandmother raised her and travels to India where she stays with her friend, Amanda.Polly is appalled by the poverty, and what her husband had done, and her guilt drives her to help the street children of Kolkata. It’s while working she meets other volunteers, Liam and Finlay. Her days are diviWhen Polly’s husband is jailed for paedophilia, she flees the village where her grandmother raised her and travels to India where she stays with her friend, Amanda.Polly is appalled by the poverty, and what her husband had done, and her guilt drives her to help the street children of Kolkata. It’s while working she meets other volunteers, Liam and Finlay. Her days are divided between teaching the children and helping with their health needs. But when Liam’s successor refuses to let Polly continue working, she’s devastated to think the children will feel she’s abandoned them.After a health scare of her own, she discovers her friend, Amanda, is pregnant. Amanda leaves India to have her child. At this time Polly and Finlay fall in love and work together helping the children. Tragedy strikes when one child is found beaten and another dead. Polly feels history repeating itself when Finlay becomes emotionally attached to a young girl.Can Polly recover from her broken heart and continue to help the children, or will she give up and return home?...

Title : A Hundred Hands
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781370663460
Format Type : ebook
Number of Pages : 577 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

A Hundred Hands Reviews

  • Jennifer S. Alderson
    2019-02-24 04:29

    We follow Polly's journey to India, a trip taken to escape home after her husband is arrested for paedophillia. Her decision to work with homeless kids seems like a sort of penance at first, until she begins to really care for them and regard them as her responsibility.Polly's dilemma at the end caught me off guard and I'm still wondering if I would have made the same decision.What I enjoyed most was how the author's gorgeous and extensive descriptions transported me to India. We smell the rotting garbage and feel the tug of beggars' hands, as we drag ourselves through the oppressive humidity.Well-written novel about a difficult topic. I look forward to reading more from this author.

  • Rosie Amber
    2019-01-23 22:29

    A Hundred Hands is a contemporary novel set in Kolkata, India. When Polly's husband in England is jailed as a paedophile, she can't face the accusing looks from her local community and runs away to India. After visiting her school friend in Bhubaneswar, Polly travels to Kolkata, thinking that she will do some travelling, but she meets first Liam and then Finlay and her plans change.Liam is a church aid worker and runs a small school for children, who come each day for free food and lessons. Finlay runs a school too, but he provides a place for the children to sleep too. Polly is drawn to help these children, by a sense of guilt over her husband. Splitting her time between the two schools, Polly teaches English six days a week.Living conditions are terrible, fumes, poverty, filth, the street kids often feral and they fight for any hugs and attention. Constant smoke and toxic fumes give Polly a chest infection and after a fall out with Finlay she escapes to Amanda for rest and recuperation. When her six month visa draws to an end Polly is reluctant to leave until a call from home about her Gran has her rushing to her aid, but back in England, Polly can't settle. The local community now have a change of heart and help raise money and funds for clothes and books for the children back in India and soon Polly is heading back where she feels she belongs.The author works really hard to fill the reader with the sights, sounds, smells and experiences of the chaos, poverty and ways of life in India. You can almost smell the noxious gases, see the scuttling cockroaches and feel the humidity and dust. A good book to get a real feel for Indian life.

  • Peggy
    2019-02-10 06:40

    Very impressed with this book. This author is well talented that she's able to make you feel as if you are in India. While reading your imagination really can see what the author is telling. This is well thought out and written book with an amazing story line!

  • Domoni
    2019-02-23 00:41

    Polly has fled her home in Wales. Her husband has gone to jail and her shame has made her unable to face the people of her village. A visit to an old friend in India and then a trip to see the country could help things settle enough for her to return home. With a six month visa, she has plenty of time to decide what she wants to do. Her first day in Kolkata she meets two men who will change her life. First the young British Liam, a missionary who volunteered to come teach the poor children on the streets of Kolkata. He shows her to a decent hotel after gaining her promise of a visit to his small school. Next, the moment she walks into the courtyard of the new hotel, Polly meets the handsome, older Finlay. Her immediate attraction to the Scottish man is only intensified with every moment she spends with him. Finlay has been in India for many years. He has a home where he has taken in orphans off the street. He offers them a home, food and an education.After one day with each of these men and the children they provide for, Polly decides to stay in Kolkata and teach the young children the best she can. She wants to help them and in a way heal her own heart. Her shame of being married to a pedophile is deep and hard for her to admit. Though as she gets closer to the caring Finlay, she will need to face her past and decide on her future.This is a well written story. The author did an excellent job of creating the streets of India in its beauty and its filth. Polly is a strong character. She is flawed and has made huge mistakes. Her decisions don’t always make me like her, but in the end her heart is big and I wanted the best for her. Each character has a rich personality. This book brought me to tears at the horrors children of India must live with. The author does not gloss over the despair, but includes the love of family that is so rich in the culture.I would happily read more by this author. I received an ARC copy of this book in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.4 out of 5 stars.

  • Nancy (The Avid Reader)
    2019-01-30 00:39

    After feeling that she needs to escape her home town in England with all the feedback or the feedback she feels like she is getting from the people there when her husband is imprisoned for paedophilia Polly decides to go to India. When she arrives in India she meets two wonderful guys who are both taking care of the children that live on the streets of Kolkata.The first guy Polly meets is Liam and he is like a missionary only working with the children on temporary bases. At Liam’s place the children come there during the day and are feed three meals a day and are taught to read and write and then have to go back out on the streets at night.The second guy Polly meets is Finlay who has around twenty five children living in his home at one time. He feeds them and teaches them to read and write plus he hopes to teach them a trade that will aide them in finding a job when the time comes.Polly loves working with the children they call her Aunty in respect and love to be hugged and like lots of attention. When Liam’s time is up and he has to leave and the new guy takes over he doesn’t allow Polly to work with the children anymore so then she gives Finlay and all his children her time.Polly falls in love with Finlay and the children so when her visa of six months is up she doesn’t want to return home but when she learns that her grandmother has fallen ill she rushes home to be with her.The whole time Polly is away from Finlay and the children she misses them something fierce and is very sad. She wants to return to India but is not sure what to do. She needs to stay and take care of her grandmother and so is not sure what she must do. Now Polly has to make a choice stay or go.When I read the summary of A Hundred Hands I knew I had to read it hoping to learn something of India and their ways and how they lived. I read a book once that was set in Vietnam and the author made Vietnam sound like a very beautiful place with the description of the land itself and I wanted to visit Vietnam. Dianne Noble did a wonderful job of describing India and showing you how they live and all the things that they live with or without according to how you look at it. Polly is a very strong and Wonderful person and her work with the children is very remarkable.I truly enjoyed reading A Hundred Hands and reading about Polly, Finlay, the children and India. I would like to read more about Polly, the children and India as well. I really like reading stories where the author gives you at least a little detail about the country and people who live there.If you have not read A Hundred Hands then let me suggest that you do. A Hundred Hands is an astounding read one that I could not put down.

  • Ritu Bhathal
    2019-01-26 04:34

    What a great book! Dianne Noble has really captured the essence of the sights and smells of the real India. Not the splendour of the Taj Mahal, the high-end hustle and bustle of Mumbai, but the reality of life for many slum dwellers and their children.I was truly touched, reading the story of Polly, who escaped to India, following the arrest of her husband for paedophilia. It's an emotional story, showing the changes that helping those who most need it, can change you and your outlook on life. I thoroughly recommend this book.

  • Caroline Vincent - Bits about Books
    2019-02-14 05:45

    Polly’s life takes a devastating turn with pounding on the door: the police have come to arrest her husband for paedophilia. The Welsh village she grew up in turns into a hostile environment and Polly’s only way out is getting away from there. When Polly arrives in India little does she know her destiny lies in the mucky town of Kolkata, teaching and helping young children to survive the harsh life in India. Opening her heart to the children enables Polly to follow her own path in life.The words of the policeman keep haunting Polly "Proud of that, are you, madam?" in reaction to Polly's reassurance to her husband she was not responsible for reporting him to the police. She knew he watched those sickening videos and said nothing. Where the villagers point their accusing fingers Polly cannot stand it any longer: she needs to escape her house, no longer a home, and decides to travel to India. Her best friend Amanda married an Indian and moved to his home country. India is a huge culture shock for Polly with its heat and dirt, the street children everywhere and the hellish bus rides. Staying at Amanda's house has provided a kind of luxury but once Polly has moved on to the little town of Kolkata it's back to basics. After her first (sleepless) night in Kolkata Polly meets two Englishmen who will radically change her life: Liam and Finlay.Liam is a volunteer who is staying in India for a couple of months to teach Indian street children English; Finlay lives in Kolkata, having turned his house into a school and place to stay for about 25 young kids. Both men work with Indian children who are desperately in need of daily food and a place to stay, a shelter from the hardship so many other children in India endure. Where Liam has no choice but to send the children back on the streets at the end of every day, Finlay ensures the children living with him have a safe environment for as long as they are with him. His goal is to teach them a skill and to find them a good place to work when they are grown-up. Polly visits them both and realizes - this is what she wants, to educate the young children and to teach them English. Is it her way of making amends? Of giving it all for the Indian children living in such heartbreaking circumstances?What follows is a beautiful tale of Polly's struggle to find a life in Kolkata for as long as her visa allows: the hardship of dealing with electricity, more often off than on, a shower that barely works and the constant heat and daily disillusions of only being able to do so much. It is never enough what Polly can do but imagine what it is for the children she's grown to love? They have no other life to go back to and are destined to stay n India. The children, both at Liam's school and Finlay's house are so pleased to see Polly, they call her Aunty and show their affection by hugging her whenever they can. It is impossible not to be swept away by the love the children show and their eagerness to learn, to please her. She divides her attention as evenly as possible, half of the week with the kids in Liam's school and the other with the children in Finlay's house.Is it just the children that are keeping Polly in Kolkata, she did want to travel through India, or is there more? Is it not just the children and Kolkata that have captured her heart, but also Finlay perhaps? He is a bit older than she is but he awakens something in Polly she yearns to explore, to find out if there are feelings between them. Meanwhile Polly's dedication to the children is affecting her health, but she will not give up. She must stay realistic, there is only so much anyone can do, can contribute to the children’s lives in India - you simply cannot save all as hard as you might try. But this "truly filthy place" is where Polly feels at home, where she is needed. Follow Polly's adventurous life in Kolkata, becoming a loved teacher to the children, her friendship with Amanda and how the choices Polly makes influence her family and friends, defines and shapes her future.'A Hundred Hands' is the touching story of Polly whose husband is in jail for paedophilia, of Amanda, Polly's best friend, the one she grew up with, married to an Indian man, of the loving relationship Polly has with her grandmother, who raised her. But there is more: we, the readers are experiencing how it is to live in a small town in India, deprived of all the luxuries we regard as normal. No wonder when you realize that Dianne Noble herself was a volunteer in Kolkata once, teaching street children English, just like her protagonist Polly. For the children life is a daily struggle and still they show a profound optimism, welcoming Polly (Aunty) in their hearts.I found the story heartbreaking, the life in India very well described. You can see how Polly is gritting her teeth and experience her agony. Is it because of her husband that Polly feels the need to embrace the opportunity to lighten up the children’s lives? Do the hundred hands refer to the volunteers and people who care, who want to make a difference for the children growing up in such circumstances? Or could it be the hundred hands reaching out toward every volunteer every day for the little help there is to give? I loved reading this novel, Dianne Noble painted such a vivid picture that I could almost smell the food and feel the overwhelming heat.Read the review on my website:

  • InD'tale Magazine
    2019-02-22 23:35

    The richness and vibrancy of Ms Noble’s writing is something one rarely sees in fiction.Read full review in the 2017 July/August issue of InD'tale Magazine.

  • Susan Roebuck
    2019-01-24 01:26

    I devour Dianne Noble's books about India. I admit I have a penchant for reading anything about the slums and the caste systems of India and have read most of the famous authors on this subject: A God of Small Things, A Suitable Boy, City of Joy, Heat and Dust.... Ms Noble's novels could stand proudly up there on the book shelves alongside these novels.Her observation skills are second to none. Her characters become friends, they're so real. The reader sees the very worst of Kolkata slums through Polly's eyes and we admire her courage and strength in needing to help the orphaned or poverty stricken children. But it's not only the characters, the author conjures up the horrors as well as the joys that meet Polly. She is so brave - and I wish I could be the same (but I have an inkling that Dianne Noble IS that brave).Another excellent book. It's about time Ms. Noble's name was published alongside the greats.

  • Bookmuseuk
    2019-01-25 06:47

    A Hundred Hands treads familiar territory to Noble’s previous novel, Outcast. A disturbing incident propels a middle-aged woman to leave a comfortable existence in Britain to engage with India, its children and all the cultural shocks that must entail.The arc of change is at the heart of both books, but this novel is broader, encompassing Kolkata orphans, a Welsh gran and a whole range of easy prejudices turned on their heads.Noble’s skill is in sensory description and the increments of change, acceptance, affection and assumption. Relationships develop with a natural feel and her characters are lively and memorable. Kolkata backstreets come to life with startling clarity and the reader is dropped right into the centre of things, as much out of any kind of comfort zone as our protagonist.Female friendships, associations, love and loyalties are the visible elements of this story, but it is built on the foundations of human empathy.

  • Julia Ibbotson
    2019-02-06 01:49

    Very interesting and evocative setting in Kolkata, India, powerful depiction of street life and poverty, and clearly a setting the author knows well, but I found difficulty in identifying with some of the protagonist's emotions and decisions.

  • H.A. Leuschel
    2019-01-24 00:32

    This is a very good book if you want to get an idea about what Indian life is like for thousands of people. The smells, heat and sounds are so realistic that at times I felt transported back to the time I traveled through India with a backpack myself. It was a culture shock just as much as it is for the main protagonist Polly. The author delivers an honest description of the dirty, polluted and cockroach infested back streets of Kolkata and Polly's acclimatization, her integration into the local community is interesting and engaging.