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R&R 002 | The God of Small Things

Arundhati Roy
The God of Small Things
1997, Flamingo
340 pages
Book bought in: Moab, Utah, USA
Flickr post


Seldom while reading have I found my heart aching and my eyes watering when only at page 5.

The God of Small Things, set in India, is a story of a family torn apart by the wish to love, but more so, the desire to be loved.

Seen through the eyes of Estha and Rahel (twins, one soul), the story, which starts off with the funeral of the twins’ cousin Sophie Mol, unravels through memories and the personal histories of the characters involved. A tragic plot – but in that sense also refreshing. Nowadays we live in a society which longs mostly for happy endings.

Ah, society. Oppressor of many, because what matters is what the masses think is right and best. What is it about our constant worry of what others would think?

In this novel, and perhaps through it, Roy confronts an irrational society which tries to decide how individuals should live and love. Sadly, a society kept alive by the very people it tries to control. Even if it means sacrificing romance, friendship, family, children’s innocence.

Children, innocent.

Children, Estha and Rahel. Children, unaware of the cruelty against those defying society – those who’d rather follow their hearts for a chance of happiness. And that is what makes this book a jewel.

The childlike view on the horrible consequences of trying to make a decision for yourself, in a world full of (let’s face it) stupid ideals and morals. The childlike view you kind of wish we’d all still have. The childlike view that sees no black or white. Communist or capitalist. Religious or atheist. Rich or poor.

But which instead sees silver jets in a blue church sky.
A Fountain in a Love-in-Tokyo.

5/5.
January 9th 2007.

This was no easy book to review. And it is not necessarily an easy book to read. But I sincerely hope you will give it a try.

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