At 20, ‘The God of Small Things’ still is special
By Shaima Faisel
ABU DHABI—The God of Small Things has turned 20 years old, and it remains one of the most graceful, beautiful love stories of the last few decades.
Arundhati Roy’s novel, published by IndiaInk, won the Booker Prize in 199, telling a story of love’s limits. The God of Small Things revolves around the life of Ammu and her twin children, in their newly shifted home in Kerala, India, amidst the communist and caste systems. The book tells us how the lives of the characters change in the course of events.
The book is very real and you can feel a connection with the characters while you are reading it. The very descriptive writing style of Ms. Roy helps us imagine the small town of Kerala, the rivers, the people who play in the background as the kids grow. The very organized story takes us through the collapsed family in the south of India, where we can find connections with ourselves.
As Roy says, “only once again they broke the love laws, that lay down who should be loved, and how and how much.”
Her novel speaks about a very tight society that isn’t open to listening to anything. Everything including love is written and managed by the laws and rules. It determines who people should talk to and whom they should look down upon. It is an expose of the caste system.
The story moves back and forth between the twins’ life in the present and as kids.
The book also shows us how the smallest things and experiences from our childhood shape our entire lives. Ms. Roy seems to imply that in some ways we are never getting older; we are just getting used to life. The language used in the novel is relatively rich and tough sledding for the uninitiated, and she uses an abundance of metaphors and similes throughout the book.
I recommend everyone read this book as we can all see a little of ourselves in the characters.