A national bestseller by an excellent young writer, about important global issues of the day. I know I should really like this book – but I can only take so much misery.
The Inheritance of Loss by Kiran Desai has rave reviews, focuses on several levels of society, and much of it is set in the Indian highlands, at the foot of Mount Kanchenjunga, sister of Mount Everest – a part of the world I care a lot about. But why is everyone so miserable, almost from the first minute? and have been all their lives? and are into the future. The cover claims it’s a novel of joy and despair – I never saw the joy.
I know the world is in a mess, that the American culture doesn’t really work for its people, and other cultures are collapsing as well. But it is our job to have as much fun as we can inside those ropes. And to work as we can to see a better world coming.
This book confirms me in thinking novels in general are not fun, and only marginally interesting, if you like focusing on the details of unhappiness.
It is an extraordinary piece of writing, nonetheless. She is gifted. I’m just hoping that next time she writes about the small and important efforts to build better lives from the village up that are going on in that part of the world. Lots of drama there – just not so much misery.