‘The glow of my cigarette picks out a dark shape lying on the ground. I bend down to take a closer look. It’s a dead sparrow. I wondered if I had become that bird, disoriented and lost.’ Young, handsome and contemptuous of his father’s traditional ways, PK Malik leaves Bombay to start a new life in America. Stopping in Manchester to visit an old friend, he thinks he sees a business opportunity, and decides to stay on. Now fifty-five, PK has fallen out of love with life.
His business is struggling and his wife Geeta is lonely, pining for the India she’s left behind. One day PK crosses the path of Esther, the wife of his business competitor, and they launch into an affair conducted in shabby hotel rooms, with the fear of discovery forever hanging in the air.
After reading this book, I realised that it is such a powerful novel about a seemingly happy family looking on as an outsider, you would never know what really is happening behind closed doors. PK Malik is a father and husband but at his age now he has given up a little, he has many things he is struggling with, until one day he meets Esther and she brings out a better side to him that he likes. He can’t help the way he feels for her and they start an affair. But there is always that fear of being caught and he doesn’t know how to cope with it. He knows he is doing wrong but can’t help himself. I suppose it depends on the situation but it was hard to get to know each family member and see things that they didn’t know about. I so wanted to tell his wife what he was like, I felt sorry that they were all in this situation but unfortunately these things happen and if he wants to go around and destroy his life then let him be.
I received an ARC copy of this book for an honest review.
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