Compared favorably to the works of Faulkner and Dickens, Arundhati Roy’s debut novel is a modern classic that has been read and loved worldwide. Equal parts powerful family saga, forbidden love story, and piercing political drama, it is the story of an affluent Indian family forever changed by one fateful day in 1969. The seven-year-old twins Estha and Rahel see their world shaken irrevokably by the arrival of their beautiful young cousin, Sophie. It is an event that will lead to an illicit liaison and tragedies accidental and intentional, exposing “big things [that] lurk unsaid” in a country drifting dangerously toward unrest. Lush, lyrical, and unnerving, The God of Small Things is an award-winning landmark that started for its author an esteemed career of fiction and political commentary that continues unabated.
As I read the first chapter, I thought, “The first chapter is very haphazard. The focus shifts from character to character abruptly and for no reason at all.”
This haphazardness continues throughout the story (at least for me).
The characters are multi dimensional (Estha, however, seemed not have a personality) but, as far as I am considered, very unreal as well. I know that not everyone in this world is good and that evil is out there but I could not find one person in this family like that. Relating to such characters is difficult.
The ping pong of past and present and then again, helped in the progress of the story to a very little extent as the timeline in the past and present went left and right as well.
There were some passages that made me go all emotional about the utter bad luck these characters seemed to have had and some passages made me want to smack them on the head they were that annoying.
A few points that go in favour of this novel;
1. Showing perfect examples of how words spoken anger can change the course of one’s life by diminishing their personality and making them retreat within themselves.
2. First impressions are sometimes completely on point.
3. People are more concerned about other’s opinion then they are for their own happiness (this, I have seen happen in real life)
All in all, a one time read for me because it started with confusion and it ended on the same note. Half the time I could not decide why is something even mentioned if there is no significance to the overall story.
But one thing, if this Baby Kochamma had not been a fictional character, I’d have choked the life out of her.