Savanna's Reviews > A Fine Balance

A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry
Rate this book
Clear rating

by
1316491
's review

it was amazing
bookshelves: the-subcontinent, favorites
Recommended to Savanna by: Sarah McConnell and Sara Lozito

Unlike many of the Indian novels I have read, this book focuses on the Emergency years under Indira Gandhi. Mistry’s characters live through the terrifying campaigns of forced sterilization and “beautification” (slum destruction). But there is more to the novel than the abuses that occurred during the Emergency. Mistry takes the reader into the world of rural India in the 1960s and 70s where challenges to the caste system often resulted in beating, maiming, and sometimes death. He describes the discriminatory and violent, but sometimes loving, interactions and relationships between Indians of different religions. The bulk of the novel, however, explores the world of India’s urban poor. The beggars in A Fine Balance add a fascinating, disturbing edge to the novel, especially Shankar.
The book is mesmerizing, complex, funny, and terribly, terribly sad. It is a consuming work, one that made me hold my breath hoping that the characters would make it through unharmed. Also unlike several of the Indian novels I have read, everything in the story seems perfectly, painfully real. While not ultimately an upper, A Fine Balance is such a complete story, such a beautiful exploration of life in a particular place and a particular time that all the tragedies cannot stop it from being a pleasure to read.
37 likes · flag

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read A Fine Balance.
Sign In »

Reading Progress

Started Reading
January 1, 2007 – Finished Reading
July 14, 2008 – Shelved
March 17, 2011 – Shelved as: the-subcontinent
March 17, 2011 – Shelved as: favorites

Comments Showing 1-2 of 2 (2 new)

dateDown arrow    newest »

Mathis Bailey I really like your synopsis of the story.


message 2: by Otee (new)

Otee >> A Fine Balance is such a complete story, such a beautiful exploration of life in a particular place and a particular time that all the tragedies cannot stop it from being a pleasure to read.
That sums up my feeling too about the book.


back to top