Just finished reading ‘Family Life’, a novel written by American-Indian writer Akhil Sharma. It’s a story of the family and the ups and downs they experienced in their life. Sharma writes with the great compassion. Though, the novel has autobiographical inputs, but he doesn’t turn to any character particularly.
Sharma’s strength,that I like in his writing, is his simplicity. I read and re-read his words, most of the literature he has penned down ever, and always feel that he is sitting just in front of me and telling stories. Even common Indian English readers can easily grasp his words. He has worldwide recognition for his writing style which is gripping and poignant.
His earlier novel-‘An Obedient Father’ had attracted the attention of readers and critics equally. He picks up the stories from the life of middle class people and presents them with his phenomenal skill of storytelling.
In ‘Family Life’, he speaks about relationship , socio-cultural ethics, love and slowly deteriorating value system. Sometimes, he creates humor, but his humor has dark shade. Here, we came across with the best example of dark comedy.
In this novel, narrators elder brother met an accident in a swimming pool and damaged his brain and left him bed ridden permanently. The story moves around the struggle of his family, their endeavors for his brother’s survival. Their loneliness, helplessness, despair and unbearable loss aroused our sympathy for the characters . Every main character , though they reside in same home and belong to one family, has their own problem.
The story is written from the point of view of Ajay, an eight year old boy of migrated family to America. The novel is an emotional journey of this young boy. The story lingers in our mind for long time and makes us restless. I think, as a writer, that is the strength of Akhil Sharma.
The novel own prestigious, ‘The Folio Prize-2015’ and critically acclaimed all over the world.
In short, ‘Family Life’ is a real page turner and a treat for fiction lover.