Australian Women’s Weekly NZ - - BOOKS - by Arund­hati Roy, Penguin/Ran­dom House. JB

It’s the book we have been wait­ing for: Arund­hati Roy’s sec­ond novel, ar­riv­ing 20 years af­ter her Booker-win­ning The God of Small Things, ex­plor­ing class, caste and fam­ily se­crets in Roy’s home-state of Ker­ala. Her can­vas is broader this time, sweep­ing from a transgender com­mu­nity founded in a Delhi grave­yard by a hi­jra (some­one born with both male and fe­male sex or­gans), to the fight­ing fields of Kash­mir, where three friends get caught up in the in­de­pen­dence strug­gle. She still writes like an an­gel and man­ages to tie her two sto­ries to­gether – one a hu­man tale of out­siders striv­ing to build their own form of fam­ily, the other fo­cus­ing more on In­dia’s po­lit­i­cal fail­ures. Yet all are strug­gling to achieve the “ut­most hap­pi­ness”.

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