- Paperback: 624 pages
- Publisher: Faber and Faber; New edition edition (3 Feb. 1997)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0571179363
- ISBN-13: 978-0571179367
- Product Dimensions: 12.6 x 3.3 x 19.7 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars See all reviews (486 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 75,930 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
A Fine Balance Paperback – 3 Feb 1997
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In 1975, in an unidentified Indian city, Mrs Dina Dalal, a financially pressed Parsi widow in her early 40s sets up a sweatshop of sorts in her ramshackle apartment. Determined to remain financially independent and to avoid a second marriage, she takes in a boarder and two Hindu tailors to sew dresses for an export company. As the four share their stories, then meals, then living space, human kinship prevails and the four become a kind of family, despite the lines of caste, class and religion. When tragedy strikes, their cherished, newfound stability is threatened, and each character must face a difficult choice in trying to salvage their relationships.
-Astonishing. . . . A rich and varied spectacle, full of wisdom and laughter and the touches of the unexpectedly familiar through which literature illuminates life.- --Wall Street Journal
-A serious and important work . . . the product of high intelligence and passionate conviction.- --New York Review of Books
-Monumental. . . . Few have caught the real sorrow and inexplicable strength of India, the unaccountable crookedness and sweetness, as well as Mistry.- --Pico Iyer, Time
-Those who continue to harp on the decline of the novel . . . ought to consider Rohinton Mistry. He needs no infusion of magic realism to vivify the real. The real world, through his eyes, is magical.- --The New York Times
"Astonishing. . . . A rich and varied spectacle, full of wisdom and laughter and the touches of the unexpectedly familiar through which literature illuminates life." --Wall Street Journal
Top Customer Reviews
You will grow to love and admire the characters whose good humour in the face of tragedy and adversity can only make you feel humble. What I would say is, please don't read it expecting a happy ever after, but do expect it to transport you to the extent that you become friends with the people, smell the food, hear the sounds and see the sights of India as you read.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Very fine writing. A lot on mindless cruelty went on that was not known on the western world at the time. A wonderful read but not a happy one.Published 1 month ago by Marjory King
I bought this after seeing it reviewed on the tv series 'my life in books'. I loved it, it's beautifully written and poignant.Published 2 months ago by Cathryn H
I wouldn't normally have read this, but it was picked by my book group and it was fascinating. A moving, heartbreaking, poignant read about a world many of us can only imagine. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Miss.M888
A story of intertwined lives, with hard to forget characters. Heartwarming, and relentless at the same time. A superb book.Published 4 months ago by Zhareen R
This book interested me from the word go, and seemed to get better and better as I was immersed into the story and the characters' worlds. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Thanagma (likes books)