Monday, March 21, 2016
The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy
"They all crossed into forbidden territory. They all tampered with the laws that lay down who should be loved and how. And how much."
The year is 1969. In the state of Kerala, on the southernmost tip of India, fraternal twins Esthappen and Rahel fashion a childhood for themselves in the shade of the wreck that is their family. Their lonely, lovely mother, Ammu, (who loves by night the man her children love by day), fled an abusive marriage to live with their blind grandmother, Mammachi (who plays Handel on her violin), their beloved uncle Chacko (Rhodes scholar, pickle baron, radical Marxist, bottom-pincher), and their enemy, Baby Kochamma (ex-nun and incumbent grandaunt).
When Chacko's English ex-wife brings their daughter for a Christmas visit, the twins learn that things can change in a day, that lives can twist into new, ugly shapes, even cease forever, beside their river.
It took me rather a long time time complete this book. I also read part of it twice because I couldn't really understand the story when I first read it. It was only halfway through that I managed to understand where the story is going and after completing the book, I went back to the beginning and it was then that I quite understand why The God of Small Things won a Booker Prize.
The author tends to be rather descriptive in composing the story and I also felt that the story flow wasn't following any sequence and rather confusing to me. Perhaps I wasn't a very good reader cos initialy, I wanted to give up after a couple of chapter. If you are like me, then I do advise you not to give up.
It's actually a very bitter sweet story of love and lost, courage and fear, sadness and joy. When there is much love, there's much lost as well and generally the small things in life do matters and it can be a very small thing that changes everything like what the twins experienced.
If you come across The God of Small Things, do give it a try.