Review of 'The God of Small Things'

The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy

the_god_of_small_things.jpg “The God of Small Things” tells the fall from grace of a family living in Ayemenem (India) who own a successful business whose pride is ultimately the cause of their fall from grace. We follow the story leading up to the visit of Sophie Mol from England, daughter of Chacko, a former Oxford Rhodes Scholar. The family has had somewhat colourful history, Sophie Mol is the daughter of Chacko's former wife Margaret whose second husband has recently passed away. Chako lives in Ayemenem with his sister, Ammu, who left her abusive husband, to give birth to the “twins” Rahel and Estha. They also live with Ammu's mother Mammachi and Ammu's sister-in-law, the bitter Baby Kochamma. When Sophie Mol arrives she strikes up a friendship with Rahel and Estha, a relationship that will ultimately result in tragedy.

I have to say I found this book extremely difficult to read despite being fairly short at 340 pages. The problem, I think, is with the extraordinarily detailed prose which demands undivided attention to avoid becoming completely lost coupled with the complicated relationships between the various characters with equally complicated names making it difficult (for me) to remember who is who and what is what. Having said that the second half of the book proceeds at a good pace and was easier to read than the first as the pieces put into play all come together to the dramatic conclusion. What is interesting is that the tragedy in this book is made clear from the very beginning but how this happens and the disaster it causes to the family is never clear until the final pages.

“The God of Small Things” has won multiple awards including the Booker Prize and I can see why, but it is not exactly a page turner for me, however, with a bit of patience and a love of literature, this would no doubt be an amazing read. Patience!

Rating: “A bit better than average”

Review Date: 2018-04-29

Genre: General Fiction

Publisher: Fourth Estate

Publication Date: 2009

ISBN: 9780007880331