Search This Blog

Friday, September 18, 2009


Semi autobiographical in nature, this book depicts the fall of a Syrian Christian family pictured against the contemporary social happenings in the state of Kerela. Lyrical in style and innovative in approach, the author has built the narration through a series of flashbacks and flashforwards.

Through the lives of a pair of fraternal twins names Estha and Rahel, the author articulately weaves the rest of characters and relates them with something, which could probably have influenced her in her real life. Unhappiness is one common chord that can be identified with most of the characters…a kind of unhappiness which finds its source within the family setup. The weakness of the family system is the basis of the story. However, external factors like untouchability, communism, politics and other social prejudices have influenced the family set up to a large extent. She uses Malayalam terms like Mammachi, Kochamma, Sophie Mol to integrate the characters to the local setting.

Narration is as beautiful as ever. In one section, the author describes Kathakali dance. Very rarely have I read a description as beautiful as this.

The theme is probably supposed to be tragic but I guess it’s slightly difficult to empathize with the author. No emotional link is likely to develop with the characters. It’s once again the beauty of the words that creates the magic

1 comment:

ab said...

I am sorry but I can not agree with you. This book has no motive and appears to be wandering aimlessly throughout the read. The story seems to be inspired from some sick happenings in the writer's or somebody close to the writer's life. Except for strong characterization, the book doesn't achieve anything.