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It is hard for me to find the words to describe Arundhati Roy’The God of Small Things. This novel took me on an emotional rollercoaster ride which was excruciatingly wonderful yet wondrously traumatic. At various time I felt like this book deserved 5⭐️ or alternately 3⭐️! In the end I settled on a solid 4⭐️!

What I enjoyed most was Roy’s relentlessly creative imagination which weaved this intricate, albeit deceptively simple narrative about the vicissitudes of a Christian family from Kerala, in southern India. She brings to life the rich, yet harsh complexity of Indian society, which is rooted in the age-old caste system in which some groups are deemed ‘untouchable,’ while at the same time struggling to embrace modernity and radical new ideas like communism. Roy succeeds in delivering an insightful social commentary (or arguably an indictment) of India by refusing to shy away from unflattering issues like poverty, classism and colorism that plague India to the present day. However, at the same time she vividly captures the mystical beauty of ancient Indian culture which still infuses everyday life in the country.

The least enjoyable part of The God of Small Things, for me was the somewhat meandering middle part of the story. It felt at times like I was wading through the story and it was getting deeper and deeper without going towards any particular destination (at least not in a great hurry). In addition, I would warn potential readers of this book about a trigger for pedophilia. There was a bizarre cringeworthy encounter with an ‘uncle’ that nearly made me lose the thread of the narrative. Although, I must confess it probably is an ‘honest’ depiction of what happens occasionally in India even to this day, it was nevertheless very unsettling.

Overall, I would highly recommend this book to anyone, especially if you are open to being challenged and pushed a bit outside of your comfort zone. You will be rewarded for your perseverance. I found the ending of The God of Small Things absolutely mesmerizing and worth the wait!

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