Roopa Farooki was not a novelist who was familiar to me when I was sent the Good Children. However, since reading the novel, she is definitely one I want to become more familiar with.
The Good Children is without doubt, one of the best novels I have read so far this year. Beautifully written, it transports us through a vast time frame (1938-2009) and both begins and ends in Lahore, Punjab.
Told through the eyes of each of the 'good children'; Sully, Jakie, Mae and Lana, it takes us through their abusive childhood, their escape into the real world, and their return home in adult hood to bury loved ones.
The Good Children is split into three sections; GOOD SONS, GOOD DAUGHTERS 1938– 1961 GOOD SISTERS, GOOD BROTHERS 1961– 1997 GOOD FATHERS, GOOD MOTHERS 1961– 2009
Usually I'm not a fan of authors who split their work like this, but in this instance I found it it really worked. Particularly as each chapter was told from a different characters point of view, which some might find difficult to follow.
Personally I loved hearing from the voice of each character and thought that Farooki did this very well.
The Good Children covers a wide range of emotive subjects, including, rape and domestic violence, racism, sexism, homophobia, cultural differences and the effects on children of parental choices. Each is handled sensitively and explained fully.
Some of the cultural issues/traditions explored may seem shocking to us Westerners, but the reasons for such traditions are explored so brilliantly that we as the reader can perfectly understand the actions, even if we don't agree with them.
The Good Children is a novel that will transport you fully into another world, whilst reminding you of the true value of family. It really teaches us the value of understanding different lifestyles and cultures without being preachy, and I would literally recommend it to everyone.