When the elderly Nariman Vakeel breaks his ankle his world, and that of his immediate family, changes forever.
Set in Bombay, it appears Nariman is lucky for he lives in a spacious apartment with his adult step children Coomy and Jal, but after the accident Coomy struggles to deal with Nariman's daily toileting to the point she feels he cannot live there any more. He is taken by ambulance to live with his biological daughter Roxana who lives in a two roomed flat with her husband and two young boys. Already lacking adequate space the only place they can put 'Grandad' is on the living room couch. The couch and the living room is Nariman's world for the next few weeks.
I absolutely loved this story, you are quickly drawn into the lives of this family. The bitter Coomy, the hard of hearing Jal and the beautiful Roxana who must keep the family together despite the daily trials.
I felt so many emotions whilst reading it - I felt absolute love for Roxana, the imposition put upon her by Coomy only makes her stronger. She takes care of her father and all his needs without complaint. I felt anxiety at her husband Yezad who makes some terrible decisions to improve their financial situation so that they can buy the necessary medicines for Nariman, who also suffers from Parkinson's. I felt anger too at Yezad who will not stoop to help his father-in-law with his toilet requirements and will not allow his two sons to help either.
Nariman's story unfolds through torturous dreams and you feel sorrow for this man who was once a professor and who now suffers his illness and situation with the greatest of dignity.
This is a very thought provoking novel as there are many other secondary characters that are wonderful but tragic, like Mr Kapur the owner of the Sporting Goods Emporium where Yezad works. He loves Bombay as a woman, and hates to see her falling from grace beneath the corruption of those in power. His strong opinions and Yezad's own deviation from the straight and narrow will be Mr Kapur's downfall.
This really is a wonderful read, and I felt sorry to say goodbye to Roxana and her beautiful boys on finishing the novel.