By Rohinton Mistry
This is another wonderful novel by Mistry! This book was part of our Canadian Book Review challenge in June. And here I am reviewing this book for this month. What a grand way of ending this year for the Canadian book Review Challenge. If any of you have not yet read this book, please do so because you will be missing one of the best writers that I have read all year and he is a Canadian. We really are blessed with good writers. He is so good that I have passed on these books to my husband who is an avid novel reader and writer himself.
This book follows the success of his internationally acclaimed novel “A Fine Balance” which won major literary awards internationally. This novel didn’t disappoint me either and in fact I believe should have won an award too. Mistry’s prose in this book is spell-binding and rich. It will move the reader to tears and yet there will be a peace in the reader’s heart too.
This novel also takes place in Bombay but a bit later, in the mid-1990’s. It addresses the perils of aging and how Parkinson’s disease can really wreak havoc on aging people. Nariman Vakeel is a seventy-nine ear old widower and the patriarch of a small discordant family. He is quite ill and lives in a once elegant apartment with his two middle-aged stepchildren. Coomy is bitter and domineering while her brother Jal is mild-mannered and agreeable.
When Nariman’s Parkinson’s is compounded by a broken ankle, Coomy plots to return his care to Roxana, his daughter. She succeeds but not without cost. Eventually Nariman has to move in with Roxana, her husband Yezad and their two children. The effect of this move and extra responsibility has a bad effect on Yezad who is under a lot of financial stress. Things become very complicated after that, and I will have to leave it up to the reader to actually pick up and read the book to find out what happens.
This book is rich in texture and has gentle humour throughout. I loved the book, and I can see why the book has earned Mistry the highest awards around the world.
Rating: 5 stars
Reviewed by: Irene S. Roth