From the Jacket:
Tender and funny, Manju Kapur’s third novel is an engrossing story of family life, across three generations of Delhi shopkeepers. When their traditional business – selling saris – is increasingly sidelined by the new fashion for jeans and stitched salwar kameez, the Banwari Lal family must adapt. But, instead of branching out, the sons remain apprenticed to the struggling shop, and the daughters are confined to the family home. As envy and suspicion grip parents and children alike, the need for escape – whether through illicit love or in the making of pickles or the search for education – becomes ever stronger. Very human and hugely engaging, “Home” is a masterful novel of the acts of kindness, compromise, and secrecy, that lie at the heart of every family
‘Home’ is the first novel of Manju Kapur that I read. She has previously written two other books but I did not get the opportunity to read them earlier, her claim to fame has been, her first novel ‘Difficult Daughters’.
The reason why I liked reading this book was the title in itself. I live some 1300 km away from Home and the concept of home plagues me now and then. So when such a title came along I picked it up thinking that probably some of my questions will be resolved in the process of reading this book. But to be honest, the book did not address what i was looking for but ended up as an enjoyable read.
Manju Kapur has addressed a lot of issues in this book which are experienced in a joint family and are often brushed aside to protect the family honour and name. Behind the curtains that maintain the sham of a big happy family, lies secrets that never are revealed. The author has brought to light some of these issues; thus, the story that could have otherwise been that of a Karol Bagh sari seller is much more than that.
Even though, I liked reading the book i felt that since there were a lot of characters, some of the sub plots were half baked and not thought out well. However, the characters are very easily identifiable, Sona’s obsession to become a mother is very real. The male characters play a strong role in the storyline as well and are not sidetracked in a women dominated tale.
Pick this book up for sure, because it makes for a wonderful read.
My rating 3.5/5
This review is for Random House India; however the opinions expressed here are my own.