Arundhati Roy's new novel gives us a cast of unforgettable characters, caught up in the tide of history, each in search of a place of safety. It is at once a love story and a provocation, an emotional embrace and a decisive remonstration. It is told with a whisper, with a shout, with tears and with a laugh. Its heroes, both present and departed, human as well as animal, have been broken by the world we live in and then mended by love. And for this reason, they will never surrender.
The Ministry of Utmost Happiness tells a shattered story, magnificently, without ever trying to make it whole. The scope of the book, its peerless prose and unique, formal inventiveness make this novel new, in the original meaning of novel.