A SUITABLE BOY
Vikram Seth (Phoenix Fiction: UK, ISBN 978-1-8579-9088-1)
Vikram Seth’s A Suitable Boy, famously one of the longest novels written in English, is a sprawling and eloquent tale of love, family, politics and any number of other themes, set around a fictional Indian city in the mid-1950s. Evoking Middlemarch with its breadth of characters, its thematic investigation of momentous political events and human relationships, and its realism, A Suitable Boy is, as its blurb alleges, a love story—but as with Middlemarch this love story does not emerge as expected. The novel, focusing on the Mehra, Kapoor, Khan and Chatterji families, contains many interlinking plot threads which draw slowly together and apart to form a magnificent story.