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Fasting, Feasting is based on a middle class Indian family, of three children and their parents. The three childrenï¿½s names are Arun, Aruna, and Uma. Like any other traditional Indian family, the parents crave a son, as they want the family name carried on. The time comes when Arun is born and the parents are overjoyed, while at the same time, they make their eldest daughter, Uma, quit school to look after the newborn. Uma is extremely clumsy and isnï¿½t good at anything that she does. She has been engaged twice, however, either of them resulted in her getting married. This makes her parents decide to let her remain unmarried for the rest of her life.
On the other hand, her sister, Aruna, is cheery by nature and is good at whatever she sets her hands to do. She is married into a rich, yet non-fussy family and her parents are proud of her. On the inside, Uma earnestly longs for freedom, but she has to give up a great deal for her brother. Arun receives everything on a silver platter. The family spends all they have to send him to America to pursue his studies. All hopes are set on him, to find a good job, get settled with a suitable wife, and carry the family name forward.
During his time in America, Arun stays with the Patton family, who are the typical American family, with highly independent children. He remembers the time he spent with his family back home, however, he isnï¿½t emotionally attached to them. Arun finds himself struggling to survive in an environment thatï¿½s not what heï¿½s accustomed to, burdened by his fatherï¿½s ambitions. Fasting, Feasting is fresh and relevant, dealing with the issue of justice and love in an Indian family, which makes for a highly engrossing read. This book has been greatly appreciated by readers worldwide and it was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize for Fiction.
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