This is the first book I was reading when I realised that I wanted to do a 50 Book challenge. I started it in December, and read right up to the second to last chapter in Feb, with my exams in between. I only finished the last chapter in May, so I can now write about the book.
The book is set in Ayemenem in Kerala, a state in India. It is the only novel by Arundhati Roy who is well known for her role as a social activist. That being said, the book sheds light on a variety of issues in Society that occur for a middle class, upper caste, Christian family in Kerala.
Her main theme is about how it is the small things that determine largeer aspects, rendering them unacceptable. The most notable way in which this is brought out is in the idea of love, and who should be loved and how much.
I will not elaborate on each sub plot, but she touches on themes like religion, when her aunt converts to Catholicism because she is in love with a priest. Racial favouritism, when her family fusses over her cousin, Sofie who is half English. Paedophilia, when Esthapen is made to hold the OrangeLemon man's penis, in exchange for a drink. Inter- caste (an inhereted social status in India) relationships, when the man servant and the twin's mother, Ammu are in love. Incest, with reference to the twins. In fact, the book revolves around the lives of fraternal twins who share a very powerful bond such that one can tell what the other feels, and can feel it too.
The book does not leave you fulfilled in terms of a "happy ending" unless you are willig to break away from conformity, and notice how the fine lines blur out, or blend that which is acceptable and that which is unacceptable. The manner in which Roy shifts through time periods confuses you at first, but it is only a matter of time after which you find yourself comfortable with these shifts. The book give you a brilliant look into the politics of interaction and how society treats those who steer away from the norm. And that is particularly what she stands for.
I have not done justice to the book in my summary of the same, but this is my first attempt, and I hope to improve. I had written a post on Arundhati Roy as an Inspirational Figure before if anyone wishes to know more about the author.
I also have an e-copy of the book if anyone is interested!