This is one of those novels that I have wanted to read for years. Published 21 years ago, it was the winner of the Booker Prize in 1997, and has been adapted for both TV and film. I finally picked up a copy at my local second hand shop, Re-Read, which definitely deserves a plug. I love second hand books in good condition, and they are always in good condition there.
The God of Small Things is the debut novel by Arundhati Roy, her second only came out last year, and it is a beautifully written account of life in India. Roy’s novel is a novel of tragedy, loss and forbidden love. All these things are discussed in various ways, and her writing really tugs on the heartstrings. The novel is emotional in many ways, but it is overwhelmingly sad.
The novel is an account of the lives of a pair of twins, Rahel and Estha, through two periods of their lives; partly as seven-year-old’s in 1969 and as thirty-one year old adults in 1993. They haven’t seen each other in the intermittent years, in which time Estha has not spoken. We learn why as the novel progresses, with little bits of information being slowly fed to us throughout the novel. Roy gives us small pieces of information that combine to create the full picture, a technique that is alluded to in the title, its the little things in life that may have the greatest effect on our lives.
I enjoyed this novel, the description is excellent, but the story is almost too sad. I would recommend reading this for the writing, but maybe at a time when you can deal emotionally with divorce, death and general unhappiness.