It's ... what can I say? How can I describe or explain it?
It's a book about two twins, a brother and sister, and the events that occur during their childhood in India. Specifically, the events that occur over one particular period of a couple weeks. Or on one particular day. It's about their relationships with their mother, the rest of their family, their friends, and their environment, all deeply steeped in Indian culture. It's about their secret stories they create, their secret worlds, their secret languages, their secret selves. It's about childhood and the loss of childhood, innocence and the loss of innocence. It's about their love for each other, for their mother, and for a select few others. It's about the quiet desperate fear that tinges that love.
It's extremely non-linear, most often circling, spiralling, swooping like a kite toward truth. Poetic. Sometimes rhythmic, with thoughts and images and phrases repeating like verses of a song at unpredictable and yet perfect intervals. Deeply sensual in its exploration of the physical experience of nature, childhood, love, and fear. Everything has a taste, a scent, a whisper, a softness or roughness to the touch. Everything is dense and corporeal and real, and yet everything is simultaneously part of a whirling kathakali storytelling dance, full of metaphor and meaning.
In the final analysis, it's a book about "the Love Laws. That lay down who should be loved. And how. And how much."
In the final analysis, it's a book about love, a book which manages to somehow communicate the actual visceral feeling of love, with all its accompanying hope and pain and fear and loss.
In the final analysis, I really don't think it can be summarized well. It's just not that kind of simple book.
God I'm glad I stuck with it.
I'm a mess. Need to go blow my nose.
I highly recommend the book. Highly.