Book Club- The God of Small Things
The book we read this month was The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy. While this book was critically acclaimed and has won several awards, I only felt lukewarm about it. This novel is set in India and tells the story of twins Esthe and Rahel and their family. There are romantic, political and mystery elements to the story, but I just couldn’t get into it. The author’s writing style is very lyrical and visual, poetic would be the best way to describe it. At times I found it beautiful and at others it was too meandering and seemed to draw things out.
As the title says, I think the point the author was trying to make was that life happens in small events, not necessarily the momentous ones. However, I was often frustrated with the elements she chose to emphasize while glazing over others I wanted to know more about. I did appreciate getting a peek into the caste system in India and this book made me want to learn more about it, along with the political climate.
The book also flips between past and present quite a bit which I found jarring and confusing. It was also hard to follow because there were several female characters that were referenced with multiple names so I did a lot of stopping and re-reading to remind myself which character was being discussed (this was something the other ladies struggled with, which made me feel little better at least). I would definitely not call this book an “easy” read and if you do decide to read it, I would recommend having a notepad nearby. I wish I had done this to take notes of the family tree and the nicknames of each character.
If you enjoy a writing style that is more focused on beauty than clarity and moves between time periods, this book may be for you. I can’t say that I really enjoyed it.
Book rating: Would only recommend to a select few and would not read again (4/10)
Because the book was set in India, I decided to try my hand on some Indian dishes. Here’s what I made:
As the year comes to an end, I am reminded how much I do enjoy being in book club. Some of the books end up being “duds” but I love discussing them and having that shared experience with the other ladies. If you’re ever considering joining a book club, do it! I promise you won’t regret it. 🙂
Chai with Rum
I really wanted to make Chai to go along with our Indian meal. I decided to make a hot cocktail out of it. This Chai comes together easily and the flavors of cinnamon and other warm spices are perfect for this time of year. It’s also quite tasty chilled, so you can bet I will be making it in summer served over ice!
Lightly crush the cardamom pods with the back of a spoon to release some of the oils. If your local grocery store has a bulk spice section you should be able to find the cardamom pods and cloves there, so you don’t have to buy a whole jar. It’s amazing how much cheaper buying spices this way is! Add the cardamom, cloves, ginger, and water to a medium saucepan.
Bring to a boil over high heat and cook ten minutes with a lid partially covering the pan.
Take it off the heat, add the tea bags and steep for five minutes. If you can’t find Darjeeling use a black tea that doesn’t have another prominent flavor (English Breakfast would be ok, but Earl Grey would not).
Take out the tea bags and add the milk and sugar. Bring the tea just to simmer over high heat, whisking until the sugar dissolves.
Move the pan off the heat and add the rum. Stir to mix it in and then pour into your mugs through a small strainer.
This recipe makes four large mugs.
- 6 cups water
- 2" piece of fresh ginger, sliced thinly
- 10 whole cloves
- 6 cardamom pods
- 6 Darjeeling (other other black) tea bags
- 2 cups milk
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar
- 6 ounces spiced rum
- Crush the cardamom pods with the back of a spoon to release some of the oils. Add the cardamom, cloves, ginger, and water to a medium saucepan.
- Bring to a boil over high heat and cook 10 minutes with a lid partially covering.
- Remove from heat, add tea bags and steep for 5 minutes.
- Take out tea bags and add milk and brown sugar. Bring just to simmer over high heat, whisking until the sugar dissolves.
- Move off the heat and add the rum. Stir to mix it in and pour into mugs through a small strainer.
- This recipe makes 4 large mugs.
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