I Was Genuinely Fooled by the Title: A Review of "The Ministry of Utmost Happiness"
And I’m glad I didn’t do any preemptive research. My first impression was that it was a fairy tale. Yes, it takes place in a post-9/11 democracy but it has an aura of otherworldliness that reminded me of Grimm. It takes place in India, where I have never visited, and the host of unfamiliar names and places were as unfamiliar to me as the Black Forest. Arundhati Roy’s characters are likewise eccentric enough to be compelling, while human enough to be believable.
I could go English-Lit major and describe how the war within the main characters is mirrored in the Kashmir conflict or characters of same names are about second chances but really, who cares? I want to wrap each of those beautiful, cracked souls in a blanket made of brownies and then take them a long walk through a quiet forest, listening if they want to talk, before hopefully emerging in a more compassionate world.
At 444 pages, it took me a few sittings to get through. But when I did finish the last page, I sat staring blindly out the window for at least twenty minutes before I realized that this is a book I will return to time and time again.
I cannot wait to buy it.