Rohinton Mistry’s enthralling novel is at once a domestic drama and an intently observed portrait of present-day Bombay in all its vitality and corruption. Warm, humane, tender and bittersweet are not the words one would expect to describe a novel that portrays a society where the government is. A quarter of the way through Family Matters, Yezad divides the Indian authors who write about Partition into two camps. On the one hand are.

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Some religious and social issues are raised by the author along the narrative, specially concerning the Parsi’s heritage after the Partition of India. More By and About This Author.

At which point, I had to drift off again for a little more morning sleep. Nariman Vakeel is a 79 year old widower forces by circumstances and parents to reject his true love and marry within the Parsi community.

I mean look at that title!

Family Matters Summary & Study Guide

I loved them, abhorred them, cared for them and wanted to yell at them sometimes, and I’ll remember their fate and their evolution for a long time. Nariman and Yasmin soon have a child of their own; Roxana. This is the story of a Parsi family living in Mumbai as mistty progress through life. You are commenting using your Twitter account. Nariman carries around a lot of guilt, and it is interesting to see the contrast between the young man and the ailing one in the present day. Nariman is still an invalid; after his ankle heals his Parkinson’s disease keeps him confined to his bed, virtually unable to communicate.

Mistry is a master of the detail. There are several funny and witty moments throughout the book, but overall the tone is one of heart-crushing poignancy.

In a terrible accident that occurs when a handyman neighbor and Coomy are working on the ceiling of Nariman’s bedroom. The epilogue is definitely the part of Family Matters that gives me, as a reader, the most difficulty processing. Life on the Edge in Bombay. Roxana and Yezad are also fighting with Coomy and Jal.


Interestingly, of those who fail, some pick themselves up, admit their mistakes, and move on with more depth and wisdom. It is not because of my familiarity with the physical surroundings or the Parsi community, but the fact that Mistry writes a simple story of nameless ordinary faces with astonishing lives.

Open Preview See a Problem? The book is aptly titled, because all of these events together create a story that is worth reading.

Luhrmann, The Good Parsi: And then it brings us down ” In the midst of these times of change, mattsrs follow an extended family: Trivia About Family Matters. Nariman Vakeel has a fall, Jal and Coomy his step children, send their father to their half sister Roxanne. July 7, July 26, Jason. We assume old people are not right in their heads.

Observer Review: Family Matters by Rohinton Mistry | Books | The Guardian

Even though his step children bear rouinton 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.

This book makes me thankful for living in countries that provide good health care and a relatively good social standard for ALL. Nov 14, Craig rated it it was amazing. It was like reading a play with the characters performing so well.

In this book Mistry makes several obscure references to India, Indian politics, and Zoroastrianism, and several pieces of dialog are in various languages other than English, but despite these barriers for a Western reader, I would whole-heartedly recommend this novel to anyone I know, especially to anyone who likes Shakespeare or otherwise enjoys stories that tackle all the really hard questions.

The Parsis, followers of an ancient Persian religion, fwmily in colonial days an influential and highly respected minority in India. View all 3 comments.

Family Matters

His impressive equipment, ability to quote profound insights, in contrast to his bungled attempts at home improvement, make him an amalgamation of both Tim Taylor and his neighbour Wilson. This study guide contains the following sections: In the ensuing situation, everyone’s behavior deteriorates, and the affecting secret of Nariman’s thwarted lifetime love affair provides a haunting leitmotif.


You offer helpfully broadened perspectives for a story that I found confining and almost claustrophobic. Hence, he did not leave a single chapter in this magnificent book where the beauty of innocence did not bathe us anew or the splendor of solidarity did not shake our shackles. Will definitely read more by this author. In other ways, it’s more like Such A Long Journey, with its focus on familial affairs and a relative tunnel vi It’s a classic Rohinton Mistry, nobody expects the man to paint happy little rainbows, but melancholia seeps through the pages of Family Matters.

Family Matters is a beautifully written account of both life in Bombay and the Parsi Zorastican culture as well as the universal experience of aging and for that I recommend it.

This is an exquisi Rating: And of the stresses mztters consequences of difficult moral choices made by husbands, fathers and misstry, in desperate circumstances, in a culture where men are still the head of the household. I get frustrated and unhappy.

What it is an honest exploration of family life. Feb 17, Rebecca rated it really liked it Shelves: Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.

Family Matters Summary & Study Guide

Sep 27, Paul Bryant rated it it was amazing Shelves: Of course they would have. Bombay in the mids, a once-elegant city in the process of deterioration, is mirrored in the physical situation miatry elderly retired professor Nariman Vakeel, whose body is succumbing to the progressive debilitation of Parkinson’s disease.

According to a November 3, BBC report: I looked up more information about Zoroastrianism