The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy

This book was lyrical, it took two steps forward and one step back in every sentence and once I was in, I could not turn away. The only way to move was further into the story and into Kerala, India, into 1969 and much later, and back again.

The heavy things, the caste system, the communism, the violence, is shown in the small things, generously trailed through the story. It is shown through the moments of love, the moments of innocence, the unshifting discomfort.

Roy tells tragedy beautifully, through rivers and rainfall and children’s unassuming views. She shows real social pain, and even in poetic flow, truthfully shows humanity and womanhood.

My chest was tight reading about the woman who tried to go to the police and was sexually harassed and humiliated. My heart ached for the woman who was abused by her husband and had to flee. I was so angry at the mother that left her children, I felt a kinship with the lady wanting independence from her life, her family. I felt sorry for the mother who lost a child and died alone, exiled. I related and cheered for the woman exploring her sexuality, living recklessly, freely. All of these women; all one woman.

I love how Roy writes her characters, she builds their lives, their souls brick by brick and the story plays beautifully on such strong foundations. I followed with ease through word play and poetry and hard facts delivered in a fictitious wrapping, all because of the strong walls they balanced on.

Roy paints the story before you, she does not paint in an order you would expect, and though she does not stop you from looking, it is only at the end, you feel you have the whole picture and you will only be able to sigh. That is the nature of her structuring here.

If you haven’t read the God of Small Things, you must. It will make you mourn for the way life goes sometimes. It will make you love. Everyone deserves to submerge into a story like this, go on I say, go for a swim.

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