Reading this book one can also learn what the situation in the city was like in the early ’90s, when a Hindu nationalist coalition formed by the BJP and the Shiv Sena parties was ruling the state of Maharashtra (that’s when Mumbai became the official name of the city).
When I read Rohinton Mistry’s “A fine balance”, a few years ago, I thought that it was a beautiful story about Indian castes and politics (the story is based a the time of The Emergency and the sterilization campaigns of the ’70s), but I didn’t like the writing style at all.
I found “Family matters” a much better written novel. A little less interesting from the historical and political point of view, this book delves into the lives of a family belonging to the Bombay’s Parsi community. Mistry, being a Bombay Zoroastrian himself, is very detailed about the description of the community customs and traditions. I did like that aspect a lot.
The novel’s main themes are interfaith marriage, bigotry, loss of traditions, family grudges, fundamentalism vs secularism. Definitely a good read, especially if you, like me, are into Indian culture.