Lisa Jenny Krieg bio photo

Lisa Jenny Krieg

Anthropologist of human-environment-technology relations and author of speculative fiction

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Phewwww. I’m writing this review more than a month after reading the book. It was a very intense read. I cried my eyes out. This is not easy reading. Emotionally speaking. Mistry writes about the Parsi community in some Indian city. About the lives of four very different people that become entangled.

A college boy, a widow, and two poor tailors. Despite of the unlikeliness, they come to live together. Despite what seemed like an uncomfortable arrangement, they become family for some time, and they live a short period of shared happiness, together. But things move on. Unfortunate coincidences tear them apart and change their lives drastically. These coincidences also tell a story of injustice in India, and of the injustice of the class system, of politics, and power, and how everyone looks out for himself. Stories of corruption, and of the will not to change. Unimaginable cruelties are told. Unimaginable turns of fate.

After getting to know every last intricate detail of the lives of our four characters, this is hard. This is difficult to read, and the story weighed on me.

It is beautifully written, with incredible command of the language. Words are carefully chosen, and the world of this unjust, smelling, foul, beautiful, colourful India swallows you up. And at the end of book it spits you out, hurting.

Grade: 4.5/5.0