A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry. This novel of epic scope is set in India and covers the entire lives of the three main protagonists. Dina somehow manages to find love, but after her husband’s early demise, she can’t bear to stay with her brother and his family, so she tries to make it on her own by starting a tailoring business. Elsewhere, a low caste family of tanners tries to better their lot by traveling to the city to learn tailoring. When Dina needs tailors, she finds these two, an uncle and nephew. With these three at the center of the tale and many vivid secondary characters, Mistry draws a picture of what it’s like to live in India. Unfortunately, it’s heartbreaking to live in India, for nearly everyone concerned.
This was a huge doorstop of a book, and I had a tough time getting into it. Then, for most of the middle section, I was pretty interested. Then at the end of the book, my heart was broken, broken. Maybe this is because my dad was born in India and I’ve always wanted to go there, and he loved it so much that I want to love it, but this story made me hate it. This book was well written, and probably a work of genius, but I give these stars based on my experience while I’m reading the book (like, the book and me, not just the book). And sometimes I still love a book that breaks my heart, but this time, not. 3/5*