Book Review: The Good Children*

image– Roopa Farooki

Leaving home is one thing. Surviving is another.
1940s Lahore, the Punjab. Two brothers and their two younger sisters are brought up to be ‘good children’, who do what they’re told. Beaten and browbeaten by their manipulative mother, to study, honour and obey. Sully, damaged and brilliant, Jakie, irreverent and passionate. Cynical Mae and soft-hearted Lana, outshone and too easily dismissed. The boys escape their repressive home to study medicine abroad, abandoning their sisters to their mother and marriages. Sully falls in love with an unsuitable Indian girl in the States; Jakie with an unsuitable white man in London. Their sisters in Pakistan refuse to remain trophy wives, and disgrace the family while they strike out to build their own lives. As they raise their own families, and return to bury the dead, Sully and Jakie, Mae and Lana, face the consequences of their decisions, and learn that leaving home doesn’t mean it will ever leave them.

My thoughts:
Honestly, I was fairly disappointed in this book. It has received such good reviews, that I think I expected much more.

Now I thought the characters were great and very well developed – I loved that we did learn a lot about each of the siblings and bits about their partners and children. We are told the story through Sully and Jakie, and the storie sort of jumps between their childhood, their lives and the present. That sort of had me lost in some parts, but I’ve always said that time jumps confuse me!

The beginning was interesting and I really liked reading about the children and how they were living. I felt sorry for them and I was itching to see them move out and make a better life for themselves. It was nice to see how they all grew and gained their all family. They had a manipulative mother and a father who didn’t stand up for them. Sully in particular seemed to be quite bitter, and I thought it was hard reading from his point of view sometimes – everything just seemed so depressing!

I just felt like the middle kind of dragged. It was such a long book and it felt like it took forever to read – not helped by the long chapters!

The redeeming features where that the characters were good, and the message was good. If it were a little shorter, I’m sure I would have enjoyed it more! I’m kind of disappointed in myself!

My Rating – To see my book review rating guide click here.

*Thanks to Bookbridgr for the review copy!