Roy, Arundhati: The God of Small Things; Penguin Book House: New Delhi
The God of Small Things is the story of a family in the town of Ayemenem in Kerala. The novel opens with Rahel returning to Ayemenem on hearing that her twin brother – Estha has come back home (to Ayemenem). The book switches scenes to the funeral of Sophie Mol, when the twins are seven years old. Rahel believes that Sophie is awake during her funeral and is buried alive. At the funeral, Ammu and the twins are ignored by the rest of the Ayemenem family. On the train ride back to Ayemenem, Ammu cannot speak except to say “He's dead ... I've killed him.”
Rahel and Estha have not seen each other since Estha was sent away (Returned) as a child to live with his father in Assam. Both twins have travelled somewhat aimlessly until returning to their childhood home. Rahel looks out at the family's former factory, Paradise Pickles & Preserves, and contemplates all the strangeness in her family and how it resolved around Sophie Mol's death.
In the next scene, the family is travelling to Cochin to receive Sophie Mol and Margaret Kochamma (Sophie’s mother and Chacko’s ex-wife), upon their arrival from England. The family has also planned on watching The Sound of Music the day before Sophie and Margaret are scheduled to arrive. On their way to Cochin, Rahel spots Velutha, marching with a group of Communists. Velutha is a worker at Paradise Pickles and Preserves and also helps out the Ayemenem household with odd jobs. Back in the present, Rahel watches Estha undress in the moonlight, to have a bath. Neither of them say anything to each other.
The narrative returns to Cochin, where the family goes to see The Sound of Music in the cinema. Inside the theatre, Estha cannot stop singing, so he is sent out into the lobby, where the Orangedrink Lemondrink man molests him. On coming back inside the hall, Estha feels nauseated and the family decides to leave the movie...