Rohinton Mistry is a wonderful writer and 'Such a Long Journey' is another great example of his skill. Mistry creates characters that the reader can truly love and empathise with - we can see ourselves and those we know in all of his characters, and as a result we care about them and believe in them. I'd go as far as to say he is the best author around when it comes to characterisation.
The hero of 'Such a Long Journey' is Gustad Noble, a hardworking family man trying to make ends meet. In trying to help an old friend, he finds himself caught up in frightening events far beyond his normal unremarkable existence, whilst simultaneously his peaceful home life is shattered by a quarrel with his son and illness in his daughter.
Mistry relates the minutae of daily domestic life in a way that is absorbing and fascinating. The reader shares in every concern of the family and longs to participate actively in their lives. It's perfectly paced and surprisingly gripping, without ever being unrealistic. Even though it is set in a country I have never visited, in an era before I was born, and the characters are from a different faith to me, it honestly doesn't matter at all. Mistry finds the humanity that is common to us and as such writes in a way that truly transcends all cultural, temporal and geographical divides.
A superb book by a writer who deserves wider recognition.