A Fine Balance is an epic story, packed with Indian atmosphere. It is gripping all the way through and the complex plot combines with amazing characters to produce the most heart-wrenching scenes I have ever read.
It is hard to explain the plot, as it is so rich and complex, but basically it follows the lives of four strangers from different sections of the Indian caste system as they deal with life during the state of emergency in 1970s India. The political situation is explained so that even an outsider can understand the corruption and turmoil going on in the country. Each character is built up so well we feel we know them, and the surroundings are described in such a way that I imagine I’ve been there. It is not an easy read, in that many of the scenes are disturbing, but the hardship is not dwelt upon, and it is amazing what positives can be made out of so little.
At over 600 pages A Fine Balance is not a short book, but I was gripped the whole way through. If it had been a quicker read it would have lost the rich detail I loved it for. This book is a modern classic and will continue to be enjoyed by many generations to come. Highly recommended.
"He needs no infusion of magic realism to vivify the real. The real world, through his eyes, is magical." New York Times.
‘A masterpiece of illumination and grace. Like all great fiction, it transforms our understanding of life.’ Guardian
‘This is a work of genius. I cannot begin to review it without saying so. It should be read by everyone who loves books, win every prize, make its author a millionaire.’ Literary Review