I read this book quite some time ago, so I have no idea how coherent this review will be, but do bear with me.. Besides its close to impossible to review this book because I don't want to give any hints and don't even want to allude to what happens in it. These are just some of my thoughts regarding this novel. I put off reading The God of Small Things for the longest time because I thought it would be pretentious and very verbose. I thought this mostly because the only people who claimed to have read the book, were all pretentious and full of themselves. And I am, unfortunately, a little wary of contemporary Indian authors. I was introduced to Arundhati Roy through her essays (we had to read some for our Contemporary Issues class in college) and I loved her writing. Her essays are extremely divisive (as is her novel) and even if you disagree with her opinions, you can't really criticize her writing, which is absolutely spellbinding. She certainly has the gift of the gab.I finally gave in and read her novel and I have never been happier and more miserable about reading a book! I was happy because I absolutely loved her book and miserable because it left me devastated. There is no other word for it. At its core, it’s a story about siblings: Esthappen and Rahel, who live with their mother and their extended family. And the events that shape the rest of their lives. The God of Small Things is not for everyone. For one thing, it is very verbose. There are entire pages that are full of descriptions and little else. The other is that the narrative is non-linear. She's written the way most of us relate a story to someone about people they’ve never met. We start and as we speak, we are reminded of something else (that may or may not have been related to the main story) and start talking about that and then eventually come back to the story we started with. It reminds me of Mysteries of Lisbon. The style of narration is very similar, except that Mysteries of Lisbon is a film. But even if the events narrated are not directly connected to the main story, they don't bore you. They add more layers to the story and its characters. The narrative also unfolds slowly and with each chapter that you read, you peal away more layers till you unravel what really happened to this family, especially the siblings and their mother. This slow pace is a deal-killer for most people, but if you can continue reading, then the pay-off is completely worth it.Its principle characters are Rahel and Esthappen, fraternal twins and their mother Ammu. They live on their maternal grandmother's estate in Kerala (a state in southern India) You follow their lives from when they were children to when they are all grown up. So, it takes place over a fairly long time but it doesn't seem tedious when you're reading it. Their story sucks you in so completely that it’s almost like you're right there with these people. Rahel and Esthappen are so close that they’re pretty much joined at the hip and they do everything together. 2 peas in a pod. But they grow up to be such different people, shaped so differently by the same events. Then there is Ammu, she escapes an abusive marriage and comes with her 2 children to her mother's house in Kerala. Beautiful and lonely Ammu. I loved the way she portrayed the extended family, the way most actually are. In India, we are still somewhat sentimental about the extended family system. We either deify it or we demean it. She creates the perfect balance of both: they're human with human weaknesses, vices and prejudices. God of Small Things is a book that is very divisive when it comes to how readers feel about it. They either love or hate it. I have yet to meet someone who was simply okay with it. There is no middle ground. But this one of my favourite books of all time. Though it is an intense and a somewhat heavy read, it is immensely rewarding. And it is a book that will stay with you long after you finish reading it, I could not pick up another book for a while after I finished it because I knew that I would not satisfied by any book that was unfortunate enough to be chosen.