A Fine Balance – Is This the Best Book?

A Fine Balance is a book that has been getting a lot of buzz lately. Is it the best book?

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In the late 1960s, two young men leave their village in India and journey to the bustling city of Bombay. There, they find themselves caught up in the heady thrill of opportunity and success. Meanwhile, in a small village not far away, a widow and her young nephew are forced to move in with her widowed sister-in-law. As their worlds collide, the lives of these four characters are irrevocably transformed.

A Fine Balance is a breathtaking achievement that is at once an ennobling historical epic and a deeply moving portrait of human resilience in the face of disparate forces. It is also a humane masterpiece that earnings its place alongside the work of Dickens, Trollope, and Mann.

What is A Fine Balance about?

A Fine Balance is a novel by Rohinton Mistry. It was first published in 1995. The novel is set in mid-1970s India, during a period of political unrest.

The story revolves around the lives of four characters: Dina Dalal, a widow who lives in Bombay; Maneck Kohlah, a student from a small town who comes to stay with Dina; Ishvar and Om, tailors who are forced to leave their village and come to Bombay to work for Dina.

The four characters must learn to live together in a cramped apartment, struggling to make ends meet. They form an unlikely family, but they are all searching for the same thing: a sense of balance in their lives.

A Fine Balance is a complex novel that deals with many important themes, such as poverty, caste discrimination, political violence, and the bond between people who are forced to live together in difficult circumstances.

The novel was very well-received when it was first published, and it has since been praised as one of the finest works of Indian literature.

The characters in A Fine Balance

Poppie – Poppie is a widow who lives with her son, Manek, in a one-room flat in an Bombay apartment building. The family is very poor, but they are content with their lives. Poppie is a kind and loving woman who is always thinking of others.

Manek – Manek is Poppie’s son. He is a talented artist and dreams of becoming a famous painter one day. Manek is also very shy and does not like to socialize with other people.

Dina – Dina is a young widow who moves into the apartment building where Poppie and Manek live. Dina is very independent and strong-willed. She does not want to rely on anyone else for her happiness.

Shiva – Shiva is a young boy who comes to live with Poppie and Manek after his parents are killed in a fire. Shiva is full of energy and loves to play games. He quickly becomes friends with Manek.

Themes in A Fine Balance

One of the main themes in A Fine Balance is the effects of violence and repression. The characters in the novel experience various forms of violence, including physical, emotional, and mental abuse. The author also explores how violence can lead to more violence, as well as how it can be used as a form of control. Another theme in the novel is the effects of poverty and poverty-related issues, such as lack of access to education and basic needs like food and shelter. The author also explores how poverty can lead to desperation and hopelessness.

The writing style of A Fine Balance

Rohinton Mistry’s A Fine Balance is written in a very accessible style. Though the novel covers a lot of difficult territory, including the enforced sterilization of women in India and the mass displacement of people during Partition, it never feels didactic or preachy. Instead, Mistry allows the characters to speak for themselves, and their individual stories slowly weave together to create a powerful portrait of a country in turmoil.

The ending of A Fine Balance

The end of the book A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry leaves the reader with a sense of both emptiness and hope. The main characters, Dina and Maneck, have both lost their families in the violence that wracked India in the 1970s. They have each other, but they are also orphans in a sense, without a past or a future. The book ends with Dina and Maneck living together in Bombay, their lives changed forever by the events of the novel.

Why is A Fine Balance considered a classic?

A Fine Balance is a novel by Rohinton Mistry. It was first published in 1995. The book is set in India, during a time when the country was undergoing major changes. The story follows the lives of four characters who are trying to find their place in the new India.

The novel has been praised for its engaging story, its characters, and its insights into Indian culture and history. It has won several awards, including the Governor General’s Award and the Giller Prize. It has been included on many lists of essential or classic books.

What are the criticisms of A Fine Balance?

There are several criticisms of A Fine Balance that should be taken into account when deciding whether or not to read the book. First, some reviewers felt that the author was too biased in favor of the Indian National Congress and against the Bharatiya Janata Party. Second, others felt that the book was too slow-paced and lacked action. Finally, some critics noted that the author did not adequately research certain aspects of the book, such as the caste system.

Should you read A Fine Balance?

Whether or not you should read A Fine Balance is entirely up to you. However, if you are looking for an engaging and thought-provoking book, then this may be the book for you.

A Fine Balance tells the story of several individuals living in India during a time of political turmoil. The characters must grapple with difficult choices and the weight of tradition, while also trying to maintain their sense of self and humanity.

The novel is widely praised for its complex characters, its nuanced portrayal of a country in turmoil, and its moving story. If you are interested in any of these things, then A Fine Balance may be the book for you.


In conclusion, A Fine Balance is an excellent book that should be read by everyone. It is a story that is both heartwarming and heartbreaking, one that will stay with you long after you have finished reading it.

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