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Family Matters

by Rohinton Mistry

Family Matters by Rohinton Mistry
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  • First Published:
    Sep 2002, 448 pages
    Paperback:
    Nov 2003, 448 pages

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Joan

Family Matters
Family Matters is just that...the every day happenings and ups- and -downs in family life. The same issues affecting family relationships in Bombay, as anywhere else in the world. The characters are beautifully drawn, true-to-life, and with flaws we all relate to.
The ending is brilliant - the ends not all neatly explained nor explanations forthcoming.
I felt the characters were alive and living next door!
The text is slow, gentle,and a pleasure to read.
Ronin

Very Good Book. Readable, captivating.Touching storyline, memorable characters.
Joe

'Family Matters', like Mistry's other works of fiction, stands out from the crowd of the so-called 'postcolonial works' that have emerged from India after the 1980s. The most striking aspect of the book is that its theme revolves around a Parsi family. A story of love, hate, temptations, sin, faith redemption, and of course, Destiny. The old and terminally ill Nariman becomes an unavoidable presence in the lives of his daughetr Rexona and her family, when his stepchildren conveniently dumps him in her small apartment. Nariman's memories mingle with the fight for survival in Rexona and Yezad's (her husband) household and it makes their children learn lessons of compassion and selflessness. In the fight Yezad finds himself torn between his duties to the family and the inabitlity to raise the money which is badly needed thanks to the addition of a new, ailing member in the family. Why does he fall prey to the circumstances? Can his act be branded a betrayal? Why does his tormented mind seek solace in a religious fervour which he used to shun in an agnostic manner? And, why his younger son Jehangir, towards the end of the story, worries his head away about the happiness that is lacking in the family which is otherwise redeemed from all the worries? The answers are to be found in this novel that Mistry wrote after a long break. And for those who are interested in the Parsi quest for relevance in the novels of Mistry, this is a must read. Shortlisted for the 2003 Booker Prize. And, for the third time, Mistry lost the Prize by a narrow margin. The only drawback I could find about the book was the lack of a key to the terms related to the Parsi (Zoroastrians in India) religion. The length of the book is not a hindrance at all, for those who love reading the words of a master story-teller!
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