Look Inside Reading Guide. Reading Guide. 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.
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Look Inside Reading Guide. Reading Guide. 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. Rohinton Mistry is the author of three novels that were all shortlisted for the Booker Prize, and a collection of short stories, Tales from Firozsha Baag.
The reader is moved, even to tears. The real world, through his eyes, is magical. Tolstoy and Tagore… His greatest strength lies in depicting the human heart, in all its longing and imperfection, with unsentimental tenderness. His evocation of the streets and sounds of jostling Bombay is almost painfully alive.
Major writers differ from minor ones. Mistry handles all of them in an accomplished style entirely his own. Frequently clear-eyed, courageous and deeply entertaining. Leo Tolstoy meets R. A novel of great wisdom, beauty and power—a book to be treasured. To say Mistry captures the textures of India well and creates larger-than-life characters is to note the least of his achievements.
Mistry depicts the sort of family love that grounds us in the world. It is not a pretty picture, but Mistry makes it warmhearted and stirring all the same. Read An Excerpt. Add to Cart. Also available from:. Available from:. Paperback —. Also in Vintage International.
About Rohinton Mistry Rohinton Mistry is the author of three novels that were all shortlisted for the Booker Prize, and a collection of short stories, Tales from Firozsha Baag.
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Family Matters by Rohinton Mistry [A Review]
He was forty-two years old at the time. Was his decision an act of weakness? Is Nariman a cynic, a wit, or simply a realist at this stage of his experience? How central is the theme of memory to Family Matters? How does his presence in the novel illuminate the lives of those less privileged, and even more unfortunate, than the Chenoy and Vakeel families? What perspective do the names of these buildings—Chateau Felicity and Pleasant Villas—cast on the lives lived within them?
Despite a life full of injustices, heartbreak and tragedy; Nariman is a generous, forgiving and understanding soul. Even though his step children bear decades of unforgiving resentment towards him, that they unload on him daily, particularly for the death of their mother, he bears it gently and without reciprocity. With the investment of Bombay by the East India Company, Parsi were heavily involved in the development of Bombay as a major city and remained an influential core of the city for generations. His father was a committed conservative who believed in preserving the purity of their ethnicity and adherence to their religion, Zoroastrianism, in order to ensure the survival of their people. Nariman though, was never particularly beholden to religion. Nor was he interested in marrying for any consideration other than love.
It's all a bit of a mystery
Whereas Salman Rushdie's celebrated "Midnight's Children" gave us Bombay with a headlong, fantastic, word-twirling magic realism, Rohinton Mistry, a Bombay-born Canadian, presents the same diverse, congested metropolis with a realism that, if too wry to be called sober, might be termed Tolstoyan. In a polished but economical and unobtrusive prose, he writes of household dramas, of plausibly confined, earthbound lives seeking to generate on their own a spark of relieving magic. Mistry harks back to the nineteenth-century novelists, for whom every detail, every urban alley, every character however lowly added a vital piece to the full social picture, and for whom every incident illustrated the eventually crushing weight of the world. Liveliness, precision, weight: these old-fashioned mimetic virtues, and the broad sympathy that calls them into being, cannot be taken for granted during a time when the producers and consumers alike of fiction have had their sensibilities early deadened by an incessant barrage of visual entertainment as insubstantial as it is eye-catching. In a world of hurry and quick artistic killing, Mistry has kept the patience to tease narrative and moral interest out of domestic life, in a subcontinent of more than a billion striving, often desperate souls. He has been living with his unmarried middle-aged stepchildren, Jal male and Coomy female Contractor, in a spacious apartment in a building grandly called Chateau Felicity.