BookBrowse Reviews Family Life by Akhil Sharma

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Family Life

by Akhil Sharma

Family Life
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    Apr 2014, 224 pages
    Paperback:
    Feb 2015, 224 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Poornima Apte

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Heart-wrenching and darkly funny, Akhil Sharma's highly anticipated second novel, Family Life, is a story of a boy coming of age in the midst of a terrible family tragedy.

In the 70s when author Akhil Sharma was just eight, his family emigrated to the United States. For a while it looked like the American dream was well within reach, but then tragedy struck: a diving accident in a swimming pool left Sharma's older brother permanently brain-damaged. This real-life incident forms the central thread of Sharma's elegiac new novel, Family Life. It movingly explores how an immense tragedy's after-effects – right from the searing immediate pain to the dull lingering long-term ache – can change and sculpt family dynamics.

Narrated by the fictional Ajay Mishra, the younger of the two sons in the nuclear family, Family Life opens in the India of the 70s, specifically in New Delhi. Dazzled by the scientific prowess of the West, the elder Mishra decides that the family needs to emigrate to America – mainly to give his boys every opportunity at ...

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