A Fine Balance

A Fine Balance

by Rohinton Mistry

Elaine M: I feel this book is one of the most well written books I have ever read. It gets sadder as the pages turn, and yet, this is real life. I first read it in 2003 (I keep records!) as a library book. I purchased it four years later, because I knew it needed to be part of my personal library. Mistry's other books: Such A Long Journey, and his collection of stories: Swimming Lessons, are also so well written.
Rating: *****

Mary Ann Kavouras: I read A Fine Balance several years ago. Judy has given a very good review of the book. It is a long, laborious read, in my opinion, yet I was fascinated and couldn't put it down for too long at a time. I subsequently read The Kite Runner, which is similar. I was a bit disappointed in that book relative to the reviews I'd heard, simply because A Fine Balance made such an impact on me. This is a book I'd highly recommend.
Rating: *****

Judy Stanton: A daunting read at 600+ pages, I found A Fine Balance well worth the time. The book is based in India in the 1970s, and is a real eye-opener at government gone mad. For the masses, the "fine balance" was between hope and despair. The book is a testament to the human ability to find hope in the most desperate of times. And desperation was everywhere. While it is historical fiction, after reading about Indira Ghandi's rule -- the abject poverty, forced sterilization, the caste system, and government dictatorship -- was unfortunately pretty honestly depicted. The author did an excellent job of developing the main characters, going back into each of their lives, telling their stories, and weaving them together. A deeply disturbing story, but beautifully written.
Rating: *****

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