The Good Children-Roopa Farooki
A family epic. 2 sisters and 2 brothers had a childhood utterly tied to their autocratic mother who browbeat/oppressed her sons and spoiled/oppressed her daughters.
A very good handling of the various concepts of pain and the overcoming of it. The four siblings really have mother issues but each conceived the others’ pain differently and acted accordingly. There’s a heavy burden of guilt and disappointment that each holds differently in their approach to duty. Their widely disparate adulthoods all hold a germ of indecision, this pain, and a drive to be themselves as much as they could. There is such a complexity given to each sibling that it makes for hard reading sometimes because you genuinely learn to like each one and their missteps, neuroticism, and frustrating behaviors feel like you’re watching them in person. The tone is maintained throughout the shifting narrative voices-a solid choice. You never forget the overarching influence in these peoples’ lives-the tyrantical mother-even as they search, the hard way, to their own version to success. Though, the downside is that the narrative voices are distinct more in the burden of duty/guilt than in voice. However, Farooki’s pose carries the day as she explores how painful it can to return home.