For my second read of the challenge I leapt forward through 28 years of winners to Arundhati Roy’s ‘The God of Small Things’, a book leant to me by a friend. The book is set in India moving from the late 1960s to the early 1990s.
Some thoughts on the book:
This is a book about a number small individual events which combine to cause a devastating accident with life changing consequences. It’s about a family who all cross the lines of social acceptability (in their culture) in different ways and how they understand what happens. “They all broke the rules. They all crossed into forbidden territory” (Rahel). The book covers a lot of big themes, from changes in the political landscape, discrimination and racism to forbidden love. Each of these alone can fill a whole book but Roy manages to link them and build them up in the context of each other.
The books is quite descriptive, some parts of the story feel like they take a long time to be told, but I think this is a positive thing, as a reader you really get a feel for the context of the situation in which things are happening.
I enjoyed the book, and although the social attitudes in the book change somewhat during the period it is set, it’s worth remembering that many of these things are still very real today around the world.
The simplicity of childhood
“Sophie Mol put the presents into her go-go bag, and went forth into the world. To drive a hard bargain. To negotiate a friendship.”
A time of political change
“The marchers that day were party workers, students, and the labourers themselves. Touchables and Untouchables. On their shoulders they carried a keg of ancient anger, lit with a recent fuse.”
Format read: Paperback
Date finished: 21 December 2013