Hello everyone! Today I'm going to be reviewing The Good Children by Roopa Farooki* which is being released in hardback and ebook form today! It's a novel about four children: Sully, Jakie, May and Lana who are raised by a very controlling mother in Lahore, Pakistan. The novel follows the four children as they grow up and move away, eventually they have to come back to Pakistan and it reflects on how their upbringing has affected them. It's split into three parts with parts one and three narrated by the two brothers and part two narrated by the sisters. It's a big book, 620 pages, but I managed to read it really quickly. I think that reflects how good it was!
I really enjoyed this novel. All of the narrating characters where really easy to love and I found myself feeling really sorry for them at some points. The two brothers go to study medicine in the US and the UK whilst the sisters are expected to stay at home. I felt really upset for the sisters, stuck at home with their horrible mother. It really opened my eyes up to the culture there, I've never really read any books set in Pakistan. I wish that more of this book had been narrated by the sisters. I wanted to know more about their stories!
I think my favourite of the siblings was Jakie. He starts a relationship with a man whilst living in London but at this time homosexuality was illegal. His narrative really opened my eyes to the racism and homophobia that occured in the UK. I mean, it still goes on today but in my little small town I've never seen things like that. There are parts in this novel where random strangers get really angry at Jakie if they see him speaking to a white person, or leave a cafe that he goes into. I couldn't even imagine anyone I know doing that! I also really liked Mae, she was the character that I felt I identified with the most. She was sharp, witty and clever. Now I don't want to blow my own trumpet but I think we both know what it feels like to not have our studies respected. I know that my mum would be a lot happier if I wasn't going to university so I really felt for Mae when her mother takes her out of school so that she can start training her to be a 'good wife'.
In the end I gave this book 5/5 stars. I found it to be really compelling. Any writer that can make me read a book that large in 3 days has my respect. I would really recommend this book if you like Khaled Hosseini's books and I got the same sort of 'vibe' from them. Overall, I can't wait to read some more of Farooki's work!
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