Joyce Ray: AWARD WINING BOOKS CHALLENGE
October 10, 2012 at 08:54PM
The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy
Harper Collins Publishers, 1998
The first thing I noticed about The God of Small Things was lushness—the lushness of India’s setting and the lushness of a multitude of striking images created with unexpected metaphor. Arundhati Roy writes prose that begs the reader to pick it up, examine it to appreciate all its facets and read it again.
It was raining when Rahel came back to Ayemenen. Slanting silver ropes slammed into loose earth, plowing it up like gunfire.
It’s a book begs the reader to keep a notebook handy to record images:
It could be argued that it began long before Christianity arrived in a boat and seeped into Kerala like tea from a teabag.
That expression on Ammu’s face. Like a rogue piece in a puzzle. Like a question mark that drifted through the pages of a book and never settled at the end of a sentence.
The gray sky curdled, and the clouds resolved themselves into little lumps, like substandard mattress stuffing.
In addition to delicious prose, The God of Small Things delivers a haunting story. The history of a family is played out against the background of a changing India. Two twins, Rahel and Estha, provide the principle lens through which we view the story. However, each character’s point of view enriches it.
Throughout this novel, Roy tantalizes the reader with a sense of impending doom. One aspect of this doom is revealed early on, but each character’s part in it is held back until the end. Roy entices the reader onward with well-placed hints about the future. She closes the story with the fateful love scene between two members of different castes.
The New York Times called this book “Faulknerian in its ambitious tackling of family and race and class, Dickensian in its sharp-eyed observation of society and character.”
Award-Winning Book Challenge Status: 8/12