9780375703423

Family Matters

Mistry, Rohinton

ISBN 10: 037570342X / 0-375-70342-X
ISBN 13: 9780375703423
Publisher: Vintage Books
Publication Date: 2003
Binding: Softcover
Editorial Reviews:
Synopsis:
Rohinton Mistry’s enthralling novel is at once a domestic drama and an intently observed portrait of present-day Bombay in all its vitality and corruption. At the age of seventy-nine, Nariman Vakeel, already suffering from Parkinson’s disease, breaks an ankle and finds himself wholly dependent on his family. His step-children, Coomy and Jal, have a spacious apartment (in the inaptly named Chateau Felicity), but are too squeamish and resentful to tend to his physical needs.

Nariman must now turn to his younger daughter, Roxana, her husband, Yezad, and their two sons, who share a small, crowded home. Their decision will test not only their material resources but, in surprising ways, all their tolerance, compassion, integrity, and faith. Sweeping and intimate, tragic and mirthful, Family Matters is a work of enormous emotional power.

Review:
Set during the 1990s in an overcrowded and politically corrupt Bombay, Rohinton Mistry's Family Matters depicts a family being torn apart by lies, love, and its unresolved demons of the past. Nariman Vakeel is an aging patriarch whose advancing Parkinson's disease and its related complications threaten to destroy his large Parsi family. When Nariman breaks his ankle and becomes bedridden, his two stepchildren turn his care over to their half-sister, Roxanne, who lives in a two-room flat with her husband and two sons. What follows is each character's reaction to this situation, from Roxanne's husband's struggle to provide for his family without neglecting his conscience to their sons' coming of age in an era of uncertainty. Expertly interspersed between these dilemmas are Nariman's tortured remembrances of a forbidden love and its inescapable consequences ("no matter where you go in the world, there is only one story: of youth, and loss, and yearning for redemption. So we tell the same story, over and over. Just the details are different").

Family Matters is a compelling, emotional, and persuasive testimony to the importance of memories in every family's history. In a poetic style rich with detail, Mistry creates a world where fate dances with free will, and the results are often more familiar than anyone would ever care to admit. --Gisele Toueg

Review

Review:
“Mistry harks back to the 19th-century novelists. . . . The reader is moved, even to tears.” – John Updike, The New Yorker

“[Mistry] needs no infusion of magical realism to vivify the real. The real world, through his eyes, is magical.” – The New York Times

“Mistry . . . solidifies his standing as one of the world’s finest authors . . . Come to [this book] with the anticipation or foreboding you’d bring to a letter from home. You’ll be rewarded luxuriously.” – The Seattle Times

“Mistry [is] a giant of a writer. . . . [an] almost perfect example of the storyteller’s art.” – Chicago Tribune

“Mistry writes with a patient attention to language, structure, and detail reminiscent of. . . .Tolstoy and Tagore… His greatest strength lies in depicting the human heart, in all its longing and imperfection, with unsentimental tenderness.” – San Francisco Chronicle

“Worthy of the 19th-century masters.” – Time

”Subtle and true . . . His evocation of the streets and sounds of jostling Bombay is almost painfully alive.” – New York Review of Books

“Rohinton Mistry is not a household name, but it should be. . . . he ought to be considered simply one of the best writers, Indian or otherwise, now alive. . . . Major writers differ from minor ones. . . in their ability to handle the big questions: death, family, the passing of time, the inevitability of loss, God or the corresponding God-shaped hole. Mistry handles all of them in an accomplished style entirely his own.” – The Atlantic

“Mistry’s prose is expansive, generous to its characters and ample in story. . . . Frequently clear-eyed, courageous and deeply entertaining.”– The Oregonian

“As much a tribute to the spirit of Bombay as it is a portrait of domestic life in modern India. . . . Mistry’s quiet sense of humor enlivens the story and makes it a delight to follow.” – Baltimore Sun

“Imagine a 19th-century realist sensibility probing the abiding mysteries of India in our time. Leo Tolstoy meets R. K. Narayan. . . . Mistry’s compassion for [his] people is boundless.” – Newsday

“A wonderfully perceptive and sometimes hilarious exploration of the complexities of family life. . . . A novel of great wisdom, beauty and power–a book to be treasured.”– Buffalo News

“Almost Tolstoyan in registry and range . . . To say Mistry captures the textures of India well and creates larger-than-life characters is to note the least of his achievements.” – The Observer (London)

“As compelling and rich as either of Mistry’s other novels . . . the world in a two-room flat. . . . Mistry depicts the sort of family love that grounds us in the world.” – Globe & Mail

“Stealthily, even movingly, Mistry reveals small triumphs of humanity over distaste, minute shifts that signal leaps of compassion.” – The Guardian (UK)

“Mistry has created a meticulously evoked, deliberately paced portrait of decay and ruin. . . . It is not a pretty picture, but Mistry makes it warmhearted and stirring all the same.” – Time Out New York

From the Back Cover

 

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Book Description: Random House USA Inc, United States, 2003. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. 197 x 133 mm. Brand New Book. Rohinton Mistry s enthralling novel is at once a domestic drama and an intently observed portrait of present-day Bombay in all its vitality and corruption. At the age of seventy-nine, Nariman Vakeel, already suffering from Parkinson s disease, breaks an ankle and finds himself wholly dependent on his family. His step-children, Coomy and Jal, have a spacious apartment (in the inaptly named Chateau Felicity), but are too squeamish and resentful to tend to his physical needs. Nariman must now turn to his younger daughter, Roxana, her husband, Yezad, and their two sons, who share a small, crowded home. Their decision will test not only their material resources but, in surprising ways, all their tolerance, compassion, integrity, and faith. Sweeping and intimate, tragic and mirthful, Family Matters is a work of enormous emotional power. Bookseller Inventory # AAC9780375703423

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Book Description: Random House USA Inc, United States, 2003. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. 197 x 133 mm. Brand New Book. Rohinton Mistry s enthralling novel is at once a domestic drama and an intently observed portrait of present-day Bombay in all its vitality and corruption. At the age of seventy-nine, Nariman Vakeel, already suffering from Parkinson s disease, breaks an ankle and finds himself wholly dependent on his family. His step-children, Coomy and Jal, have a spacious apartment (in the inaptly named Chateau Felicity), but are too squeamish and resentful to tend to his physical needs. Nariman must now turn to his younger daughter, Roxana, her husband, Yezad, and their two sons, who share a small, crowded home. Their decision will test not only their material resources but, in surprising ways, all their tolerance, compassion, integrity, and faith. Sweeping and intimate, tragic and mirthful, Family Matters is a work of enormous emotional power. Bookseller Inventory # AAC9780375703423

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