Friday, September 27, 2013

Book Review: Home by Manju Kapur

Spanning over three generations of Banwari Lals, Delhi based cloth traders; ‘Home’ is a family saga of typical middle-class merchant family. Set in the heart of Karol Bagh; the story revolves around how the different generations adapt to changing times. It also depicts how the patriarch one time strong and defiant bows down to his sons towards the end. The book illustrates how the women of the family who behind closed doors fill their husbands’ ears with comparative tales and one-upmanship of the other family.

Typical of family sagas and brings in dynamics of joint family, the worries of marrying daughters off, the privileges of having a son bringing in dowry and sometimes infertility. The narrative is rather slow and drags a little. Manju Kapur is a skilled written who artfully brings colour to each of the characters whether is it the dreary in-laws or the entrepreneurial aunt or the slimy parasitic nephew. Except for the fact that the book stretches a little; Home makes for a good read providing valuable insights into a distinctive middle-class trader family.


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