Irene's Reviews > A Suitable Boy

A Suitable Boy by Vikram Seth
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's review
Nov 25, 2012

it was amazing

At just shy of 1,500 pages, this could easily have become tedious or unwieldy. But, Seth writes with amazing skill, never taking an easily available cliché or allowing a plot thread to simply dangle. The book takes place from the spring of 1950 to the spring of 1951 in a fictional college town in India. The lives of four interwoven families are depicted during this year; Hindi and Muslim, devout and secular, elected official and unremarkable civil servant, academics and self-made business men, these characters reflect the emerging Indian middle class as India takes its first tentative steps as an independent nation. Through the ordinary concerns of young adults finding their place in this new society and older adults trying to make sense of a changing world, the reader becomes intimately aware of the divisions and the unifying values, the aspirations and the lingering regrets, the heady potentiality and the crushing oppression that is the Indian reality at this critical historical time. This novel has a huge cast of characters, but Seth manages to write each with a unique personality and voice so that they are easily recognizable. This is a

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