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Book Review: The God of Small Things, by Arundhati Roy

Another review written by our guest blogger, Cassandra Cervi. Cassandra studied Creative Writing and English, before doing a Master's in Media and starting as a Strategist in Toronto. She is an avid reader with a preference for magical realism and surrealism, or anything interesting and weird.

Arundhati Roy’s award-winning novel The God of Small Things is unlike anything I have ever read before. It is a must-read. It looks into the lives and family history of fraternal twins in a small town in India, jumping in time from 1969 to 1993. It shows how India’s Love Laws that mandated boundaries in relationships that prevented love between members of differing castes impact the childhood and long-term lives of these twins. We get a look into different vignettes throughout their childhood that eventually come together to create a tapestry that encompasses familial trauma, caste divisions, forbidden love and social justice. This novel excels at weaving together a deeply nuanced story using unique, other-worldly imagery. At times, it can get a little bit difficult to follow, largely because of the jumping in time and the complexity of the issues it tackles. That is a small hurdle to overcome, though. Some pages may need a twice-over, but it is worth it to re-read anyway, since each page is rife with beautiful descriptions and deeply meaningful moments. What is wonderful about this story is that even when things are unclear, it feels like everything is being shown for a reason. You can tell that Roy knows where she is taking you and has a reason for taking you there. I would recommend giving yourself over to Roy’s masterful storytelling. She does not disappoint.


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