God of Small Things (Roy)

The God of Small Things
Arundhati Roy, 1997
336 pp.
ISBN-13: 9780812979657

Winner, 1997 Man Booker Prize

Set in Kerala, India, in 1969, The God Of Small Things is the story of seven-year-old twins Rahel and Estha, born of a wealthy family and literally joined at the soul. Rahel and Estha are cared for by a host of compelling characters: their beautiful mother, Ammu, who has left a violent husband; their Marxist uncle, Chacko, still pining for his English wife and daughter who left him; their prickly grandaunt, Baby Kochamma, pickling in her virginity; and the volatile Veluth, a member of the Untouchable caste. When Chacko's ex-wife, Margaret, and lovely daughter, Sophie, unexpectedly return, the household is thrown into disarray. Tragedy strikes in the form of an accident (that may not have been accidental) and a terrifying murder.

Tremendously powerful and lushly romantic, The God Of Small Things effectively shifts between two time periods: Rahel's present-day trip home to see her mute, haunted twin brother, and a December day 20 years before — the tumultuous day that tears the family apart. With mesmerizing language that brings to mind such authors as Salman Rushdie, Gabriel García Márquez, and William Faulkner, The God Of Small Things ambitiously tackles such profound issues as family, race, and class, the dictates of history, and the laws of love. Rahel and Estha learn too soon that love and life can be lost in a millisecond. (From the publisher.)

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