This novel took me into a very magical state of mind. Since this was Roy’s debut novel, we can really tell that there is a lot going on in it. Set in the late 1960s, the story begins with the funeral of a very young Sophie Mol, the cousin of Estha. Roy reveals the families tensions that led to the bad behavior and killing Sophie. While Roy’s powers of description are intimidating, the stress of a family death shows the social restrictions and boundaries that we face now. The character Ammu works in the family’s pickle factory in spite of which she and her kids are denied any rights, love, by Chacko.
“Maybe they’re right, Ammu’s whisper said. Maybe a boy does need a Baba” (196)
Right as we see the relationships become an importance in the book, the absence of other family members is powerful too. In this quote we see that other people are telling Ammu that she can’t do enough to play the role as a mother and father to Estha. Ammu is starting to believe it for herself that she can’t do an adequate job.