I swear it is worth every one of its five-hundred-something-thousand words. Seth draws his characters with such conviction, generosity and empathy that one sinks into the details of their lives with pleasure. Truly engrossing and delightful, an elegantly crafted soap-operatic presentation of personal and political complications in a newly post-independence, post-partition India. By Seth's own suggestion, you may physically rip the book into sections if it seems easier to ingest that way (only, please buy it first).— Laurel
Vikram Seth's novel is, at its core, a love story: Lata and her mother, Mrs. Rupa Mehra, are both trying to find -- through love or through exacting maternal appraisal -- a suitable boy for Lata to marry. Set in the early 1950s, in an India newly independent and struggling through a time of crisis, A Suitable Boy takes us into the richly imagined world of four large extended families and spins a compulsively readable tale of their lives and loves. A sweeping panoramic portrait of a complex, multiethnic society in flux, A Suitable Boy remains the story of ordinary people caught up in a web of love and ambition, humor and sadness, prejudice and reconciliation, the most delicate social etiquette and the most appalling violence.
About the Author
Vikram Seth has written acclaimed books in several genres: verse novel, The Golden Gate; travel book, From Heaven Lake; animal fables, Beastly Tales; epic fiction, A Suitable Boy. His most recent novel, An Equal Music, was published in 1999. He lives in England and India.