This book won the Booker in 2006.
Sai lives with her grandfather, a retired judge, and his dog, Mutt, on a decaying estate north of Darjeeling near the Nepal border. Their cook mourns his son, Biju, who is living in New York. Some Nepali freedom fighters ("Gorkhaland for the Gorkhas") raid the house and take the judge's ancient hunting guns. Sai's secret boyfriend, her maths and science tutor, who is Nepali, doesn't turn up for their lesson...
The story starts to explain the back story, how the judge and Sai came to be living their, Sai's relationships with her tutor and the others in the village: gay Uncle Potty, Father Booty, sisters Lola and Noni. Intercut are scenes from the cook's son's life in the Big Apple as an illegal immigrant and impoverished restaurant worker. Slowly (and I found it very slow indeed) the story meanders back to the present day.
Suddenly the violence flares up and life will never be the same again...
Deftly written, with subtle observations building portraits of the characters, but in the middle bit I got extremely bogged down and found myself not caring about the characters. But the final third suddenly becomes a different book: the cosy gentility of life is overthrown and ugly chaos reigns.
- Having reviewed over 1200 books on this blog, I have now written two myself. Motherdarling is a story about a search for a missing Will which reveals long-hidden family secrets. The Kids of God is a thriller set in a dystopia ruled by fascist paramilitaries. Both are available as paperbacks and on Kindle through Amazon. I live in Canterbury, England. I lived for more than thirty years in Bedford. Having retired from teaching; I became a research student at the University of Bedfordshire researching into Liminality. I achieved my PhD in 2019. I am now properly retired. I love reading! I enjoy in particular fiction (mostly great and classic fiction although I also enjoy whodunnits), biography, history and smart thinking. Follow me on twitter: @daja57