A Suitable Boy: A Novel (Modern Classics)

A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth A Suitable Boy is the inter-connected tale of four families in post-independence India. Although the central story is Mrs Rupa Mehra's quest to find a suitable husband for her daughter Lata, Seth's novel is more than that and is best described as a panoramic of Indian society. From racial tension to religious festivals to adultery, ambition and politics, A Suitable Boy is an epic in every sense of the word. The many individual stories are told alongside each other in nineteen parts and cover the human condition in all its forms. I enjoyed reading about Savita's journey into motherhood, Pran's struggle to become an academic, the Nawab Sahib's bewilderment as the world he knew disappeared and the eccentric Chatterji family, who were more liberal and liked to speak in couplets.If you have the time to invest in it, A Suitable Boy is a very rewarding book. For me, it's up there with Gone with the Wind and Anna Karenina as a book that I will always remember. Lata and the cast of characters feel like members of my friends and family; two days after putting this book down for good, I'm missing them. Towards the end of the book when things start to happen and events get resolved, I was emotionally invested in the outcome each character would have. Seth made me connect with each one (even if I didn't like them all) and I have a clear visualisation of what each character is about, which is not easy to pull off. It felt almost like the book got into my soul.As the scope of Suitable Boy is so broad, there's guaranteed to be something in it for each reader. I'm a fan of multiple perspective books anyway and the rapid shifting between points of view stopped this long book from becoming tedious to read. I'm in utter awe at the way Seth managed to wind all of his characters and events together without losing the impact of the story. There are some plot points not resolved by the end and everything doesn't tie up nicely, but then it's not the kind of book where everything would. A Suitable Boy does require an investment of time and effort but most definitely repays anything you put into it.