A Fine Balance

This is a literary masterpiece and comes highly recommended. At 600+ pages, A Fine Balance initially seems intimidating. However, from the first page, it takes the reader on a compelling journey into the chaos of India during the 1975 State of Emergency - a world defined by political instability, corruption, the rigid caste system and the unpredictability of daily life. The story follows the lives of four main characters, who are thrown together because of their struggling financial circumstances. Forced to share one cramped apartment, they gradually become dependent on one another in ways they never would have imagined. The sense of despair is intense and relentless - it is hard to comprehend the cruelty shown towards those in the 'untouchable' castes. But this novel is an astonishing achievement, both in the scope of the work, and its ability to show the resilience of the human spirit against the most unimaginable odds. 

Jai Ho, Richmond

I don't know about you, but the first thing that comes to my mind when you say Jai Ho is the song from The Pussycat Dolls….....Anyway, when you walk into Jai Ho – the restaurant in Swan Street, Richmond – you immediately get a sense that it's a family-run business. The dining room is quite polished, with big tables and comfy leather chairs - perfect for our book group discussion. It was a quiet space, which provided the opportunity to delve into a book that left us so heavy-hearted. We tried lots of traditional curries and all were superb. The garlic naan bread was an excellent accompaniment to help mop up all the rich beautiful sauces. Food was fresh, fragrant and presented really beautifully. It's definitely popular amongst the locals, judging by all the delivery requests. Service was attentive and really friendly. Perfect venue to discuss this month’s book.


A Fine Balance
By Rohinton Mistry