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Cleveland Park Library

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Review: The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy

Book Cover: The God of Small ThingsMany books capture my attention as I am checking them in and out and The God of Small Things is no exception. Ms. Roy, like all great writers, can transport you -- in this case, all the way back to a town in 1960’s India -- and make you smell the river, the fragrant flowers and the fruits and vegetables being canned in the factory.

The story is about a set of twins who, though born of separate eggs, share the oneness of identical twins. An early tragedy separates them and ruins the lives of their mother and a beloved employee, who is an “untouchable."  There are the usual protagonists and antagonists but the reader develops sympathy for almost all of them. These people are so "human"; no one is perfect. They all struggle with their good and evil sides.

The author’s use of imagery makes the characters and their world so vivid as to make you feel part of the story.  It is one of those books that stays with the reader and makes you want to get back to it as soon as possible.  Although the story is a sad one, in the end, it is satisfying. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoyed Abraham Verghese’s Cutting for Stone, Aravind Adiga’s The White Tiger, or Jhumpa Lahiri’s Unaccustomed Earth or The Interpreter of Maladies.
-- Hanife Conry