Family Matters

Mistry, Rohinton

  11 Reviews

In 1990s Bombay, Nariman Vakeel is a 79-year-old Parsi widower, suffering from Parkinson's Disease and living with his two resentful stepchildren. Becoming bedridden with a broken ankle, he is forced to recuperate at his daughter's house, which tests relationships and family ties. Booker Shortlist, and Winner of the Kiriyama Pacific Rim Book Prize for Fiction, 2002. [Big read}

Comments from Groups

The group was unanimous that this was a fascinating book. The depiction of the characters was intriguing especially the generosity and kindliness that could prevail despite adversity. Learning about the Parsi sect was interesting. Although Mistry provides no easy solutions or happy endings, the reader is brought to an understanding of how rules and traditions have a profound effect on family relationships. Wellington 036

Sensitively written, beautiful story of ups and downs of family life, caring for elderly, raising children, extended family relationships, moral dilemmas and life in India with no social welfare system. Great discussion. Auckland 122

Mistry has this wonderful abiltiy to develop within his characters everyones "human-ness". Wonderful portrayal of the reality of the lows and highs, the generous and the selfish, the good and the bad, set mainly in two homes. Whakatane 009

Recommend to other groups. All enjoyed discussing the care some families have to provide to an elderly relative. Also humour to lighten the subject. Very good book and well written. Waikanae 003

We all enjoyed this book and had an interesting discussion. It was agreeed that the "Family Matters" in question are universal. We enjoyed the different cultural setting. Our understanding of Indian politics, political corruption and religious bigotry was aided by having a group member who was born and raised in Pakistan. Wellington 141



AKAR 001
Like India itself, this book is a vast family saga, and covers family matters, political viewpoints and happenings, and religious considerations and differences. The reader needs to take time to read the book to absorb all the subtleties.The book is informative in a somewhat familiar setting, it's exotic and chaotic, and overflowing with detail! We all finished it!
For those of us who read 'Family Matters', we LOVED it! Those who didn't read it didn't have the time, but also felt it was a bit "heavy" for this time of year.
Everyone enjoyed 'Family Matters' - the discussion was rich and varied. We were glad to have had the opportunity to read this book.
On the whole the book was enjoyed by the group. Discussion was based on the characters; and caring for an elderly parent, and all that that entails.
WELL 061
We enjoyed this book immensely.
WELL 194
This book generated lively discussion about family dynamics.
Most weren't captured sufficiently to finish. Those that did found it a good read. Two recalled 'A Fine Balance', and didn't think this one measured up.
'Family Matters' was a great book to discuss - the story, the characters and the background of Bombay were all fascinating - especially as one member (Fijian Indian) had travelled to Bombay. The writing style with its great descriptions and characters really appealed to us.
We found this book engrossing. Excellent character development.
HAVE 005
All but one of our group loved the book, and some said that they would enjoy reading it again. Very well-written, with an engaging and sometimes heart wrenching story of family life with all its complications, set in the hectic, chaotic city of Bombay.
A very interesting book enjoyed by everyone. An insight into another culture and well-written.