Saturday, February 25, 2023

The God Of Small Things by Arundhati Roy


This novel is about a wealthy family in India and how their lives fell apart one summer.  There is the grandmother whose pickle recipes started the family fortune and continues to be the mainspring of wealth.  Her husband has died but her two grown children live with her.  Chacko, her son, was a Rhodes scholar but returned to India and runs the pickle factory.  He has one daughter who came from his English ex-wife.  The daughter, Ammu, is divorced which is scandalous.  She has fraternal twins, Rahel her daughter and Esthappen, her son.

One Christmas Chacko's ex-wife and his daughter come to visit.  He is overjoyed.  His daughter is his joy and she tries to play with the twins but they are standoffish as they have been each other's best friend from birth.  All the family members learn to their dismay how one day can change everything and make the rest of life something to be measured as before and after a happening.  Secrets are revealed and the family falls apart never to be reunited.

This was a debut novel which is astounding.  It is written with many small details that take the reader to another land.  It talks about forbidden loves and the result when they are revealed.  It talks about family bonds and how once they are broken, there is really nothing else to live for.  It won the Booker Prize in 1997 which is an amazing accomplishment for a debut novel.  This book is recommended for readers of literary fiction.

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