Reading Arundhati Roy’s The God of Small Things

It’s 7:36pm and I am seated on the floor in this space I rent out in Mbita. The rain this morning brought with it some calm and chills and I am on my second cup of tea. Silver Spoon by BTS is playing as I write this and I am tempted to dance to it and sweat a little, shake off the cold, get rid of the socks and sweater.

I finally got to read The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy. The book won the 1997 Booker Prize and has such a vast range of reviews that I could not help but have it on my wish list. Now that I have read it, let’s say that the Writer in me was challenged and in awe while the Reader enjoyed some bits and remains baffled by others.

First things first, I love works of fiction serve a table of contents. It’s like being invited to a buffet, and you can actually read the chapter titles and keep it going. So, this one had me at that.

I love descriptions as a Writer and this is because I struggle with getting it to feel just as right as you read it, and when I come across a description that has me in my feelings then the Writer and Reader are both pleased. Two of such stand out for me, however before I share them, I will let you in on what the book explores. “The book explores the tragic fate of a family which “tampered with the laws that lay down who should be loved, and how.” There’s the grandmother Mammachi, her spoilt Angophile son, Chacko, daughter Ammu and her inseparable twins: Estha and Rahel, then the mother of all drama queens, manipulative as hell bundle of life in form of their aunt called Baby Kochamma.”

Now two phrases that got me in my feelings:

When Margaret Kochamma saw her little daughter’s body, shock swelled in her like phantom applause in an empty auditorium.

The second phrase:

Impelled by feelings that were primal yet paradoxically wholly impersonal. Feelings of contempt born of inchoate, unacknowledged fear, civilizations fear of nature, men’s fear of women, power’s fear of powerlessness. Men’s subliminal urge to destroy what he could neither subdue nor defy.

I am glad that I got to read this book and it’s got me on extreme ends of elation and disappointment. The characters were so well written that even the plot itself offered me surprises, twists and turns and more so driven by hidden desires of the characters- and frankly speaking this book wouldn’t get far without Baby Kochamma. That aunt pulled some stunts that only she could do. What I couldn’t fathom was why the twins; Rahel and Estha were presented as mysteries and this followed them all the way into adulthood- yet Rahel was pretty straightforward even as a child, always speaking her mind- thus earning her the title of the ‘thoughtless one.’

You can buy a copy on : Amazon

Here’s another reason that’d compel you to read this book:

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