Family Matters by Rohinton Mistry
Mistry is one of those writers who uses everyday language to create fabulous art. The story revolves around a Bombay family who must now care for their 79-year-old family patriarch. What does a family do when one of its members needs round-the-clock care? Here, all the good & bad come out. Likewise, the theme of family permeates the story. A well-rounded character portrait that captures life as it is lived, not stylized for “fiction.”
Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh
Charles Ryder is an agnostic who finds himself enamored of a noble family, the Marshmains, who are Roman Catholic in a country not fond of papists since Henry VIII’s days. In Oxford, Ryder is befriended by Sebastian Flyte, the second son of Lord Marchmain. Thus Ryder is thrust into a world he had not imagined before, and, 20 years on, will never feel the same again about love, family, or religion.
The Victim by Saul Bellow
Asa Leventhal is suddenly, and quite inexplicably, beset by a near stranger who says Leventhal has ruined his life. What’s more, Allbee claims that Leventhal owes him something for this ruination. What transpires is a strange series of episodes that make you wonder who is right and who is wrong in this argument. There is a fine line between what we perceive is proper and what the world (or complete strangers) understand it as. Bellow’s second book (selling just 2,257 copies) shows the maturation of a crafty writer and thinker.