Julie's Reviews > Family Matters

Family Matters by Rohinton Mistry
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's review
Nov 11, 2011

it was amazing
bookshelves: 5-star-reads, book-club, fiction, 1001-books-to-read-before-you-die
Read from November 11 to December 14, 2011

Nariman Vakeel suffers from Parkinson's Disease and is living the end of his life with his stepchildren, Jal and Coomy. Although Jal and Coomy have a spacious apartment with enough room for Nariman, their relationship has always been strained and resentment over taking care of Nariman has gradually increased. When Nariman breaks his ankle and is bedridden, Jal and Coomy are unable to stomach the additional chores of bathing and caring for an invalid. They shuttle Nariman to their stepsister Roxanna's home to have him nursed back to health. But Roxanna's life is not easy. She, her husband and 2 sons live in a tiny 1 bedroom apartment and are just barely surviving financially. The added burden of physically and financially caring for her father cause a strain on the entire family.

Although the setting is Bombay, India and the characters are a Parsi family, the issues and conflicts in this book are universal to any place or time. The difficulty of trying to balance family obligations against living a life you choose is one that many of us face. It was fascinating to see how the different characters handled stress and how their choices changes everyone's life. Excellent writing and a great story.

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