The Inheritance of Loss by Kiran Desai

inheritance-of-loss The Inheritance of Loss is a novel by Indian author Kiran Desai. Published in 2006, it has won the Man Booker Prize for that year and the National Book Critics Circle Fiction Award in 2007.
Set in the Himalayan mountain range with Nepali and Indian characters; a cook’s son went to America to make his fortune; an orphaned granddaughter growing up in the care of her retired judge grandfather, Nepalese in India not being recognized as Indian resulting in civil unrest. The story revolves around four Prime characters, Sai, The Judge, Cook and Biju. The narration switches between Biju in New York and Sai in Kalimpong and periodically goes back to the pre-war colonial period.There is also a cast of bizarre characters in the household’s social circle.
Biju is an illegal immigrant to ‘America’ for his and his father’s dream of earning a better lifestyle in the most powerful nation of world. His narration closely follows that what happens when you take people from a poor country and place them in a wealthy one. The novel heartbreakingly describes that how does the imbalance between these two worlds manifest into person’s thinking, personal sphere and feeling.
Sai is a teenage girl, whose Parents had died in Russia, currently living with her maternal Grandfather ‘The Judge’, Cook (father of Biju) and Mutt (judge’s dog). Sai is surrounded with people much aged than her and often feel lonely and crave for some love and attention.She fall in love with Gyan , her tutor, who does not reciprocate the feelings at same length.
Jemubhai Popatlal Patel is a retired Judge from ICS and a disgusted man over Indian living way, culture and Indians. He is so much in hatred with Indians that he broke all ties with his own father, family and wife whom he does not find compatible to his English mannerism and sophistication.
Cook is a servant at Judge’s House and lives in false hopes and desperation towards his Son Biju.
Established in the backdrop of Gorkhaland movement, the story is quite magnificent, powerful and mature. However I personally felt that the fable becomes quite slow on some illustrations where author took extreme pain in unfolding the scene with immense details.
I like the Characters the way they are. If you are staying away from your family & home than definitely you would have come across vague situation at some instances of your life where you felt as dead stubborn as Judge, craving for love as Sai used to, waiting for loved one’s message while continuing with routine life like cook and looking for purpose of this far stay as Biju was soliciting.
Easy to read and deceptively deep; this is a good novel with much to recommend it.

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