Book Review: The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy

Book Review: The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy

After almost two years have passed by since I bought the book “The God of Small Things”, by Arundhati Roy, but only recently i read the book and i am still wondering, why I didn’t pick the book earlier.

With beautiful description of every little thing made the book more real like i was walking with the story and seeing the characters function right in front of me. The narration touches upon the societal divides, colonial influence and family prides, which shapes the life of the characters.

Story

The love of a family, which includes Ammu and her two-egg twins go through a roller coaster ride while dealing with life. Ammu’s family did not welcome her and her unidentical twins, when Ammu comes back to Ayement, a small town in Kerala after she divorces her abusive husband and his ill-treatment towards her, whereas Chako, Ammu’s brother is made the owner of the family business “Paradise Pickles & Preserves”, when he comes back from England after his divorce.

The family is so much influenced by Colonial rule that their manner reflects the western influences, which they have happily adopted in their Christian household. When Chako’s family, which includes his ex-wife Margaret Kochamma and Sophie Mol pay a visit to their Ayemenem household, the family dnaces in joy and pay all their attention to the visiting family as if they are playing their roles in a play and are in their best behaviours.

The children however feel the difference in treatment but do not show to each other. After the accidental death of Sophie Mol, the lives of Ammu’s family change drastically. The blame game starts Ammu with her twins pay a heavy price. Ammu falls in love with Velutha, an untouchable, an active member of a political party and when their love story spreads across length and breadth, Baby Kochamma and Mammachi, the senior most members of the family take charge to control the situation.

Baby Kochamma weaves a false story out of thin air, to keep the family pride intact and puts all the blame on Velutha for manipulating Ammu in getting involved with him sexually. But the truth is Velutha and Ammu were in love, Velutha has always been good to Rahel and Estha. The false story cover up made to save the family’s pride make things turn out as nightmares for Ammu, her twin and Velutha, so much so that Velutha dies, Ammu is kicked out of the house, Rahel stays with the Ayemenem house and Estha is sent back to his father.

After many years when Rahel and Estha meet, the twins are disturbed from the core but their emotional bonding remains intact. Ammu dies a lonely death in a cheap motel.

Personal Note

I wonder, if Baby Kochamma ever suffers from nightmare where Velutha asks her what his fault was for being born in a paravan family. Is being born in an untouchable family means he cannot love someone and if he does, he will have to pay the price by giving his life.

I understand the pain Chako felt, when he saw his beloved daughter’s dead body in front of him, but did the pain subside when he tore Estha and Rahel apart from their mother and from each other?

Rate: 4.5 */ 5

 

Image Courtesy: contributoria.com

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