Family saga with a wicked witch at its heart: The Independent
Roopa Farooki’s sixth novel is a family saga sprawling across three continents and three generations. The story follows four siblings in a back-and-forth interweaving narrative, from a childhood in Lahore in the Thirties and Forties, to England and the US over four decades, to the final scenes, at their mother’s deathbed back in Lahore.
If Farooki’s novel The Flying Man, featured a less-than-conventional father, here it is the figure of the mother who ties the circular narrative together. Yet in its dependence on “Amma”, the novel flounders. Described from the perspective of the children, she resembles the wicked witch or stepmother in Western fairy-tales to which the novel makes constant reference. She is described as the “wicked stepmother to the maid’s Cinderella”; in the ongoing battle with her daughter she wants to be “the fairest of them all”