A Fine Balance is the best book ever written!

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A Fine Balance is my favourite book. It is set in India in the mid-1970 and shows how the lives of four ordinary people are overturned by the Emergency, a period of political turmoil and violence.

It brings the country to life, enabling you to feel what it was like to live in the slums, struggling to survive each day.

Photo credit: Ben Garrison, Flickr

But it also shows life in the beautiful, rural areas.

Photo credit: Shayon Ghosh, Flickr

There is violence and death, but there is also love and an endless feeling of hope that warms my heart.

Photo credit: Sistak, Flickr

A Fine Balance has everything that you could ever want in a book:

  • fantastic characters
  • an exciting plot
  • vivid descriptions of a different way of life
  • fascinating facts
  • an array of human emotion

I’m going to be giving out copies of A Fine Balance in my local community for World Book Night. I really hope that I can help to bring the magic of this book to a few people who wouldn’t otherwise have come across it.

If you’d like to know more about the book then please take a look at the profile I created on Book Drum.

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  1. Thanks for profiling this book as I have had it on my shelf unread for several years. Maybe I will take it on vacation.

    1. Jackie says:

      Diane, Please do. I hope that you enjoy it as much as I did.

    2. Melissa says:

      I agree with Jackie – you definitely MUST read this book. I read it seven years ago, and parts of it are still “with” me.

      1. Jackie says:

        Melissa, Thanks for commenting on my blog for the first time. I’m so pleased that you are a fan of this book too. :-)

  2. Alex says:

    It’s a great initiative. Please let us know how it goes – maybe some photos as well?

    1. Jackie says:

      Alex, Yes. I’ll try to get a few photos and will write a post about the experience. Fingers crossed it will go well.

  3. Laura says:

    I loved A Fine Balance, too. It brought India to life for me in a way no other book has. Great photos in your post!

    1. Jackie says:

      Laura, More proof that the best books in the world are loved by both of us ;-)

  4. This is definitely one that I’ve been meaning to read for quite some time. Anything set in India seems to draw me right in :)

    1. Jackie says:

      Coffee and a Book Chick, I agree – India is a fantastic setting for books – I have loved so many based there. I hope that you decide to read this one and enjoy it as much as I did.

  5. Steph says:

    I have a copy of this, which I picked up after your rave review (and a few others) so I do want to read it at some point… but I’ve been holding off because I have heard that it is pretty bleak and melancholy and I don’t know that I want to pick up a book that is only sad. One day I’m sure I’ll be in the mood for it!

    1. Jackie says:

      Steph, This book does have several bleak scenes and I suppose that the theme of the entire book is quite sad in that they are constantly fighting for survival, but there are lots of lighter moments and I’d argue that the ending is quite hopeful (others disagree!) I think you need to save this book for a time when you can concentrate fully as it isn’t something you can dip into/out of quickly/easily but don’t worry too much about the sadness – I’m sure you’ll love it :-)

  6. stujallen says:

    hope the people receiving the book enjoy it like yourself Jackie ,all the best stu

    1. Jackie says:

      Stu, I really hope so. The great thing about giving the books to people who live close by is that I can actually find out what a lot of them think about it. :-)

  7. Kathleen says:

    This is on my list of top 5 books! I plan to reread it one day soon as it has been about 10 years ( I think) since I read it for the first time. I haven’t read his book, Family Matters, either but will one day. I’m glad you enjoyed it too.

    1. Jackie says:

      Kathleen, This is one of the only books I’ve ever re-read and it just gets better every time you read it. Enjoy your reread!

  8. Dorte H says:

    What a fine recommendation with these wonderful pictures.

  9. I haven’t read this but it’s on my list! I hope you have a great time handing out this book. Will you let us know what exactly you did and how it went?

    1. Jackie says:

      Judith, I’ll try to let you know how it went and hopefully I’ll be able to do a post at some point in the future to let you know what a few of the people thought of it.

  10. Bellezza says:

    I have this book, bought last summer over the recommendations I’ve read about it for so long. Yours only reiterates, all the more clearly, why it should be read. Looking forward to picking it up as soon as possible.

    1. Jackie says:

      Bellezza, I hope that you enjoy it as much as I did.

  11. Mystica says:

    Coming from Asia myself I do see the differences not just clearly but on a daily basis of what you are talking about. I would love to read this book – in a good writers hands this subject will be a wonderful one.

    1. Jackie says:

      Mystica, Rohintom Mistry is a fantastic writer. He handles the subject with intelligence, passion and an eye for detail. I’m sure that you’ll be impressed with this one. Enjoy :-)

  12. Teddy says:

    I loved A Fine Balance! I read it years ago but it has stuck with me. It refuses to go away!

    1. Jackie says:

      Teddy, I know – I can’t stop thinking about it either! The sign of a wonderful book :-)

  13. parrish says:

    Glad you enjoyed your booknight give away, ad did my daughter & I was amazed by the initial suspicion & lack of knowledge, but most people came round once I’d discussed the why & wherefores.

    Ps. Would you do it again?

    1. Jackie says:

      parrish, I wasn’t surprised by the suspicion – you rarely get something for free without there being a catch. What I was surprised by was how few people rejected the book. I expected people to say it was too long etc, but only a couple of people said they didn’t read books (and couldn’t be persuaded to). Everyone else was willing to give it a try. I’ll be interested to follow up and find out what people made of it.

      I would do it again and actually think I’ll give away more of my own books randomly in the future – I loved to see everyone so happy to be given a book.

  14. Andi says:

    This book has been hovering on my shelves for far too long! I’ve decided I should definitely tackle it for this year’s Chunkster Challenge. Thanks for the good influence!

    1. Jackie says:

      Andi, Yes – it is the best chunkster around :-) I hope that you enjoy it as much as I did.

  15. It’s one of my five favourite books – yeah, I have a list of five favourite books :D

    The Fountainhead is the other book, which I just can’t read enough number of times. Make it a point to re-read it at least once a year, and each time I re-read it, I love it a little bit more than the previous time.

    1. Jackie says:

      anothercookiecrumbles, I haven’t read The Fountainhead yet – I think I actually own a copy so I have no excuse. I must go and dig it out now :-)


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