Winner of the *1997 Booker Prize*, Arundhati Roy’s “The God of Small Things” is set against a background of political turbulence in Kerala, Southern India, telling the story of twins Esthappen and Rahel. Amongst the vats of banana jam and heaps of peppercorns in their grandmother's factory, armed only with the invincible innocence of children, they fashion a childhood for themselves in the shade of the wreck that is their family - their lonely, lovely mother, Ammu (who loves by night the man her children love by day), their blind grandmother, Mammachi (who plays Handel on her violin), their beloved uncle Chacko (Rhodes scholar, pickle baron, radical Marxist, bottom-pincher), and their enemy, Baby Kochamma (ex-nun and incumbent grandaunt).
When their English cousin, Sophie Mol, and her mother, Margaret Kochamma, arrive on a Christmas visit, Esthappen and Rahel learn that things can change in a day. That lives can twist into new, ugly shapes, even cease forever.
“The God of Small Things” certainly takes on the big themes: love; madness; hope; and infinite joy. The brilliantly plotted story uncoils with an agonizing sense of foreboding and inevitability; yet nothing prepares you for what lies at the heart of it.
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