My 4th book from Oprah’s Book Club!
I think so far this one was definitely my favorite. Since it was one of the few I had never even heard of before – it was a really nice surprise. I have loved doing these reviews so far, and I hope you guys are getting some good recommendations from them! I would love to know what you guys thought about the books too! Leave a comment after the review so I can see!
I have read so much young adult fiction, partially due to the fact that I am a young adult, and partially because I have been reading that category since I was in the 6th grade. So, to find one that was unique enough to grab my attention was a surprise.
Overall Review: Rich and Devastating
A Fine Balance is captivating. When I picked it up I was determined to at least read a good amount every day rather than letting it drag out in minute portions (which really ruins the book). Each day, I would return to the pages, reading more and more each time, until finally two days ago I sat and read every last page.
Nothing I can say will do it justice. This is the kind of book where there is meaning, thought and precision in every single word. Mistry is an absolute master. A Fine Balance isn’t a short book, but there isn’t one word too many or out of place. Every piece of the story threads through and loops around, to create a richly woven scenario where every character’s story adds to the overall tapestry.
No character is neglected. In some novels, the secondary characters are little more than names, with only the barest outline making them more than words. In A Fine Balance every character is given their own story. What is beautiful is that there are frequently moments where a character from another piece of the story appears again, which gives them more significance in a reader’s memory. Although this means that there are no ‘secondary’ characters, it worked out well. The four characters are the epitome of the title as they walk a sharp line between joy and despair.
Breaking it down…
When you dissect the book and it’s themes you would expect to be overcome with despair or anguish. Somehow though, Rohinton Mistry works joy and hope into events that should be soul-crushing. His eloquence makes the lengthy, often devastating pages fly by and ultimately speaks of the human abilities to endure and find joy even along the dustiest of paths. A Fine Balance is an exquisite piece of writing, that will no doubt spoil me for other books for some time.
The only downside…
The only thing I would say about it is that maybe young adult is perhaps an easy-going label for it. I would definitely recommend this book to teens because at that age when you feel as though the whole world is against you, this book could really help with showing how to process emotions and find silver linings.
A+++ Rohinton, job well done!
I hope you guys enjoyed this review, and found it accurate! Next week (hopefully, I just started the book) we will be reviewing While I Was Gone by Sue Miller.