Saturday, September 3, 2011

In praise of siblings

Deceptively simple, this is a story of reunion.

One realises the value of siblings only when one is a single child and loneliness haunts throughout life. The bantering of brothers and sisters, recalling their childhood abandon and nostalgic recollection and affinity are cause célèbre. The theme of the emotionally charged and poignant novel is the sneaking out of the siblings from a family relative's wedding and joining the youngest brother for a few hours. The story focuses on events of a day, and is simple and the short-lived tender reunion of the brothers and sisters and the parting from a few hours of revelry to drudgery and everlasting problems of routine life. The novel makes the reader wish that the reunion lasted longer. But characters and people have to grow in their own worlds.

The protagonist and the petulant narrator is Garance, in her early thirties and acting like a spoiled child. The novel begins with her elder and laid back brother, Simon, a physicist, picking her up for a drive to the wedding of a cousin Hubert. Simon's wife Carine, a pharmacist, is with them and she is portrayed as hypercritical and pedantic. Garance complains about her as being obnoxious and difficult to get along. Both of them hurl back a torrent of insults at each other from the back and front seats of the car. Simon makes a detour to pick up Garance's older sister Lola, whose marriage is on the verge of divorce.

Full report here Hindu

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