The long-awaited new novel from the twice Booker-shortlisted author. Family Matters is an intricate story of domestic conflict set against modern-day Bombay. The story centres on a 79-year-old Parsi widower named Nariman who lives with his step-son and step-daughter. Nariman's wife died many years before, leaving behind the two children from her ...
The long-awaited new novel from the twice Booker-shortlisted author. Family Matters is an intricate story of domestic conflict set against modern-day Bombay. The story centres on a 79-year-old Parsi widower named Nariman who lives with his step-son and step-daughter. Nariman's wife died many years before, leaving behind the two children from her first marriage and the daughter, Roxana, they had together. Wanting above all for Roxana not to have to live with him in this 'house of unhappiness' as he calls it, Nariman spent all his money to give her and her husband, Yezad, a place of their own. Now, beset by Parkinson's Disease, Nariman tries to endure his family's protectiveness until he finally defies their wishes and ventures outside. He falls and hurts his ankle and after a brief stay in hospital comes home more needy and cantankerous than ever. His step-children can't cope and Nariman goes to live with Roxana and Yezad. This sets in motion a series of events which do nothing to assuage growing family conflict and the unravelling of affections. Once again this author has created a beautifully realised world with all too human characters. This novel has all the richness, the compassion and the narrative sweep that have earned Rohinton Mistry the highest of accolades and prizes around the world. It is a stunning achievement.
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Rohinton Mistry draws you into the world of a family with a stepfather and half-siblings. The patriarch is an older man, sick with Parkinson's; he winds up breaking his ankle. The story deals with who should take on the responsibility of the father. It's a story that hits home with me, as a baby boomer. I found it to be a book that's hard to put down.
Publishers Weekly, 2002-07-15 Warm, humane, tender and bittersweet are not the words one would expect to describe a novel that portrays a society where the government is corrupt, the standard of living is barely above poverty level and religious, ethnic and class divisions poison the community. Yet Mistrys compassionate eye and his ability to focus on the small decencies that maintain civilization, preserve the family unit and even lead to happiness attest to his masterly skill as a writer who makes sense of the world by using laughter, as one of his characters observes. Bombay in the mid-1990s, a once-elegant city in the process of deterioration, is mirrored in the physical situation of elderly retired professor Nariman Vakeel, whose body is succumbing to the progressive debilitation of Parkinsons disease. Narimans apartment, which he shares with his two resentful, middle-aged stepchildren, is also in terrible disrepair. But when an accident forces him to recuperate in the tortuously crowded apartment that barely accommodates his daughter Roxana, her husband and two young boys, family tensions are exacerbated and the limits of responsibility and obligation are explored with a full measure of anguish. In the ensuing situation, everyones behavior deteriorates, and the affecting secret of Narimans thwarted lifetime love affair provides a haunting leitmotif. Light moments of domestic interaction, a series of ridiculous comic situations, ironic juxtapositions and tenderly observed human eccentricities provide humorous relief, as the author of A Fine Balance again explores the tightrope act that constitutes life on this planet. Mistry is not just a fiction writer; hes a philosopher who finds meaning-$indeed, perhaps a divine plan"in small human interactions. This beautifully paced, elegantly expressed novel is notable for the breadth of its vision as well as its immensely appealing characters and enticing plot. 75,000 first printing; BOMC, Literary Guild and QPB alternates; 7-city author tour. (Oct. 1) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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