The Ministry of Utmost Happiness
Book Review - The Ministry of Utmost Happiness by Arundhati Roy
I was invited to join a book club in St. Louis! With each move, it seems meeting people and finding friends gets easier and easier. It seems once I'm invited to join a book club my new city starts to feel like home. This book club tends to alternate between what I'll call "fun reads" and "serious reads." This month was a "serious read." I have to come clean right off the bat: 1) I probably wouldn't have chosen to read this one on my own accord; 2) I didn't finish reading it. I was SO determined to get through it since this was going to be my first time meeting most of the book club members. I wanted to make a good impression. But about a week before we were scheduled to meet the host confirmed our reservation at the restaurant and mentioned she hadn't started the book. Then there were a string of responses about not having started/finished the book and all my motivation to get through it evaporated. Life is too short for books you don't enjoy, am I right?
With that being said, this book was a National Bestseller and long-listed for the Man Booker Prize. It was also included on a number of notable newspapers' lists of "Best Books of the Year." So perhaps if I had given it more time, stuck with it, or read it when I was more in the mood for a "serious read" then I would have enjoyed it as much as everyone else. Clearly this isn't a "bad" book - it just wasn't for me at this time and place in my life. I wanted something that I could get absorbed in, a book that will make me forget everything else I need to get done...this was not that book.
About the book: The Ministry of Utmost Happiness takes us on an intimate journey across the Indian subcontinent—from the cramped neighborhoods of Old Delhi and the roads of the new city to the mountains and valleys of Kashmir and beyond, where war is peace and peace is war. Braiding together the lives of a diverse cast of characters who have been broken by the world they live in and then rescued, patched together by acts of love—and by hope, here Arundhati Roy reinvents what a novel can do and can be.
I love the public spaces in New Town at St. Charles - they've done such a great job to create greens paces for people to enjoy on nice days. This long and narrow park is lined with trees that provide plenty of shade for reading, picnicking, playing with the dogs, or just gathering with friends. I'd come out here for a short reading session and sit on the benches or bring a blanket, bottle of wine, and a charcuterie tray for a longer afternoon with my book. Where are your favorite places to read?
Book complementary of Vintage & Anchor Books.