Novel Suggestions Rotating Header Image

Family Matters by Rohinton Mistry

Family Matters - Rohinton MistryRohinton Mistry has certainly carved out a niche as one of our most celebrated authors of recent times, and I always look forward with great enthusiasm to reading any of his novels. His books have a richness of character and description that always delights me, and Family Matters is certainly no exception to this rule.

Rohinton Mistry was born in Bombay but has lived in Canada since 1975. Family matters was published in 2002 and is his third novel.

Read on for a full review….

Family Matters Reviews

-- Family Matters by Rohinton Mistry - A Review by Des Greene --
Family Matters, set in Bombay, follows the story of Nariman Vakeel an ageing Parkinson’s disease sufferer beset with troubling and conflicting memories of his illicit first love Lucy, a relationship which was ultimately doomed to failure because of the strict marital code of his Parsi family.

At the outset of the novel Nariman is living with his rather overprotective stepson and stepdaughter, Jal and Coomy. Things start to get difficult when on top of his age and illness, Nariman breaks an ankle whilst out for a walk (much against Jal and Coomy’s advice of course!). Jal and Coomy find it increasingly difficult to cope with the day to day practicalities of caring for Nariman, and little by little he is pushed out of his own home and into the care of his daughter Roxana and son in law Yezad. Living in a tiny flat along with their two sons Murad and Jehangir, and now having to cope with the additional burden of their elderly relative, friction inevitably ensues.

Family Matters deals with a number of complex issues, religious influence, the intricate workings of the extended family, the burdens of age and infirmity, but it does so always with a light touch. The well rounded and believable characters (typical of Rohinton Mistry), and the gentle humour which prevails throughout the book, never let it become too heavy. Through the bad times and the good, it remains an enjoyable read from start to finish.

This book is far from what you would call “all action” so if you are after thrills and excitement then I would look elsewhere. However, if thoughtful, humourous and believable dialogue with well considered underlying themes are your sort of thing, then I can wholeheartedly recommend Family Matters to you.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *