Mittwoch, 25. Juni 2008

Vikram Seth - A suitable Boy

Set in the post-colonial India of the 1950s, this sprawling saga involves four families--the Mehras, the Kapoors, the Chatterjis and the Khans--whose domestic crises illuminate the historical and social events of the era. Like an old-fashioned soap opera (or a Bombay talkie), the multi-charactered plot pits mothers against daughters, fathers against sons, Hindus against Muslims and small farmers against greedy landowners facing government-ordered dispossession. The story revolves around independent-minded Lata Mehra: Will she defy the stern order of her widowed upper-caste Hindu mother by marrying the Muslim youth she loves? The search for Lata's husband expands into a richly detailed and exotically vivid narrative that crisscrosses the fabric of India. Seth's panoramic scenes take the reader into law courts, religious processions, bloody riots, academia--even the shoe trade. Portraits of actual figures are incisive; the cameo of Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, for example, captures his high-minded, well-meaning indecision.

With more than 1900 pages this was the greatest tome I have ever read.
Because of my studies I was not able to read it within a short time (this is really possible, I am sure). This wonderful novel, the many interesting and authentic characters accompanied me through months. When I finally finished the book, I really started missing the persons.
Seth's novel is unique written. I became curious about it, and finally bought it, because wonderful author Sharon Maas (Of Marriageable Age) told at her homepage that she loves Seth's book.
I have to say, this is not just a novel. It is a journey. The characters not only accompanied me, I also accompanied them. It was interesting to see them grow in such an authentic way. First I could not understand Lata's decision in the end, but after thinking about it, it was the right decision for her.
I have never read a book telling about the lifes of so many people. It was such a great experience. Each person was described wonderful and I was looking forward to each storyline.
The novel not only tells about realistic characters, also about the Indian culture, history and politics. The last one was maybe a bit too much presented, but that is a matter of taste. Politics were so important to understand the background of some of the storylines, so they could not have missed.
After writing so much I only have to say: If you love authentic family sagas and India you really have to read this novel. Let Mrs. Rupa Mehra, Maan, Lata, Malati, Firoz and the many others in your life!

Keine Kommentare: