Throwback Thursday is a weekly meme hosted by Renee at It’s Book Talk. Throwback Thursday was designed as an opportunity to share old favorites as well as older books in our TBR. As I started reviewing on Goodreads long before I started my blog, it seemed a great way of sharing my earlier reviews (which I hope have improved since the early days).
So this week I’m revisiting The Good Children by Roopa Farooki.
Leaving home is one thing. Surviving is another.
In 1940s Lahore, the Punjab, two brothers and two sisters are beaten and browbeaten into ‘good children’.
Each has a destiny to fulfil. Sully and Jakie will be doctors, Mae and Lana dutiful wives. But Sully falls for an unsuitable girl, Jakie an unsuitable man. Mae and Lana disgrace themselves and disobey.
Rebelling is easy when you’re far from home. But the ties that bind them across cultures, continents and time can never be broken. And when, decades later, death draws them back, it will affect them in ways they never imagined.
Sully, Jakie, Mae and Lana live in 1940’s Lahore during the difficult period of partition. Their life is further compounded by struggling to be the “good children” their controlling and manipulative mother demands them to be.
The book follows their lives as they leave the Punjab to study, find partners, get married and raise families. Despite their intelligence and awareness of how they were all manipulated by their mother, it is apparent that her influence was all pervasive. Throughout their lives it seems they can never escape the need to be seen to be doing the right thing. Even as they return as adults to bury their parents, it is clear that they cannot bury the past and are still programmed to be the good children their mother desired.
I really enjoyed this book and quickly found I was taking sides with the children and hoped that as they grew they would escape their mothers clutches and become their own person. Each child followed a different path with varying degrees of success and it was interesting to follow their progress. Following them from 1940 to the present day also provided an interesting insight into the social mores and prejudices that was part and parcel of growing up as an immigrant. It was also a revealing insight into the changing role of women who become increasing influenced by a Western Culture and refused to submit to the traditional roles their native society placed on them.
If want an interesting read that is informative and thought provoking as well as satisfying and enjoyable then try this book – you won’t be disappointed.
I received a copy of this book via NetGalley in return for an honest review.