China Room - Sunjeev Sahota
China Room follows the life of Mehar who at the age of 15 has just been married off. Wed at the same time as two other brides to one of three brothers; her marriage is shrouded in mystery. She wants only to know which of the three men she beds at night. As a young woman in India she has very little say in anything in her life and seeks to unravel the mystery of her husband as she strives to find joy in her new life.
Generations later, a young man finds himself in India at the home that Mehar had lived in long ago. He's there to free himself from addiction and the ghosts he hadn't realized haunted him.
While wandering Barnes and Noble one day, I came across this book on one of their Bestseller shelves. I'd never heard of the author or the book previously, even though it was long listed for the Booker Prize in 2021. Immediately the cover drew me. There is something about the almost boho design that draws you to it. After reading the back, I bought it.
China Room is a roller coaster. Just like real life, it is full of everyday ups and downs. At one point the down was so astronomically low, I had no choice but to walk away and clear my head for a few moments before I could return to it. That alone would tell me why this book was worthy of being on the list for the Booker Prize, but Sunjeev Sahota has an ability to make the characters he writes so realistic that you are invested from the first page.
I don't usually go for the multi generational sagas. That's usually a Becca thing. 😄 After reading China Room, you can expect to see more multi generation reads come from me. I love the way that the young man (who is never named, which I found odd) and Mehar's lives intertwine and come full circle. I would highly suggest this book to anyone over 18 as it does deal with heavier subjects of drug addiction, alcoholism, abuse, sexual abuse, and more.
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