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Publisher's Summary

From the author of the highly acclaimed A Fine Balance, Rohinton Mistry's eagerly anticipated novel is set in Bombay in the mid-1990s. Nariman, an ailing, elderly Parsi widower, lives with his middle-aged stepchildren and dreams of the past. When he breaks an ankle and can no longer partake of his one pleasure, a daily walk through the neighborhood, his bitter stepdaughter schemes to move him to her sister's home and relieve herself of the burden of caring for him.

The move is accomplished, but living in a new household with Roxana, her husband and two young boys sets into motion a series of events that lead to the unraveling of the family's secrets and surprising revelations from the past. Family Matters is a brilliantly evocative novel that confirms Mistry's reputation as one of the finest writers of our time.

©2002 Rohinton Mistry (P)2002 New Millennium Audio, All Rights Reserved

Critic Reviews

"As close to perfect as a novel can get." (Booklist)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings


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  • Overall
  • JOHN
  • Plantation, FL, United States
  • 02-10-06

More greatness from Rohinton Mistry

I thought A Fine Balance by the same author was a near perfect book, which is why I purchased Family Matters. It has been quite some time since I finished this book, yet it impacted me so strongly that I wanted to convey my enthusiasm to other potential reader/listeners. Very different from A Fine Balance, yet the author exhibits the same deep sensitivity to the human condition. I believe that the theme is universal; dealing with an elderly parent and the stepchild "problem." Most people will be able to identify with the dilemnas of family, children, siblings, parents. A VERY human story indeed. HIGHLY recommended.

18 of 18 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

A special listening experiece.

The characters are richly and vividly described. Universal themes of old age, dying, regret and family conflict are handled in a moving and convinicing way. Set in the simmering cauldron that is India--the story of this middle-class familiy's up's and down's nevertheless feels very close to home. The reader is exceptional and brings each character to life. Ths is a book that stays with you for a long time. Hope Audible brings us more books of this caliber.

14 of 14 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Janice
  • Fredericksburg, VA, USA
  • 04-09-03

Touching, human characters

After reading A Fine Balance last year, I was so excited to see an unabridged audio version available on Mistry's storytelling is superb in this book. I started caring about the characters right from the very beginning, and even found myself moved to tears as Nariman's son-in-law began to tenderly take care of him as he lay on the couch, an invalid. This novel is more uplifting than A Fine Balance, but it paints just as accurate a picture of life in India.

11 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Uday
  • 12-23-05

Family Matters.....Is absolutely matters

This was the first time I had heard the story written by Rohinton Mistry and WoW!!. I am impressed with his style of story telling. It is filled with rich prose and poetry. Though the story starts out slow, it slowly picks up pace and grips you as you get absorbed within the story. The family characters feel so real that they touch your heart and feel like your own family. I was touched everytime anything happy or sad events struck Jhahangir, Nariman, Yazad, Jaal, Roxana and the rest. At various points in the story it made me look back at my own family and think how interesting and meaningful all the relationships are. Family matters ....It absolutely matters.

The narration is equally done well with the absolutely marvelous voice of Martin Jarvis.

This is a story about Parsi families and tradition. It has also wonderful description of Bombay lifestyle and the people who dwell this city. Born and brought up in Bombay, the story feels close to heart. I love it!

The only thing I had wished was a happier ending to this wonderful story.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Pamela
  • Sonoma, CA, United States
  • 05-01-05

A good listen

I enjoyed this book, which I listened to shortly after finishing another Rohinton Mistry title, "A Fine Balance." "Family Matters" starts slower, moves slower, but its payoff is in the depth of family interactions it portrays over a long period of time. "A Fine Balance" left me filled with the characters for weeks after I finished the book; "Family Matters" stayed with me, too, but in a different way. This book made me think of the wide range of family interactions I have had during my life, and instead of rating them as good or bad, positive or negative, made me rethink them in terms of the individuals themselves, rather than in relation to me. If you haven't read "A Fine Balance," I highly recommend it since it filled me with the colors of the characters. And read this one as well -- which bored more deeply into my psyche.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

One of the best read novels

This is not only a great book but its audio rendering is the best of all books that I heard on audible. Perfectly dramatized.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Marjorie
  • Quincy, CA, United States
  • 03-11-13

Amidst the sorrow, sweetness and humor

This book was a wonderful development of family life among the classes in urban India. The story involves multi-generational, common family problems found anywhere in the world. The language is lyrical and most of the family members are able to experience sorrow while finding humor and depth. Well done narration. The book kept me interested and involved from start to finish. I know it is a good book when I miss the characters after I have finished the listen.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Entertaining and poignant

Except for a few flaws of coincidence and predictability, this work is well worth the experience. The narrator is skillful and adept at taking on the characters of the novel and the book's insights into the mysteries of human life are thought provoking. I would highly recommend it to anyone looking to gain a glimpse of Indian society and understand the streams of clarity in an otherwise chaotic world very unlike the West.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • B J
  • Cranberry Twp, PA, USA
  • 05-29-05

Bombay as a character

Mistry has a wonderful talent for making family life in such an exotic and faraway place as Bombay seem like the family next door, or perhaps one's own family. However, when Bombay itself takes center stage, the reader is indeed transported to someplace faraway, a place sad yet wonderful.

The reader, Martin Jarvis, is superb. I will hunt out more books read by him. Beautiful diction and his ability to give all the characters their own voices without sounding ridiculous is amazing.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall


I truly enjoyed this book. Extremely well-written, touching, witty, funny at times, thought-provoking. Coming from a Third World country, I could particulary related to the insanity of government-induced and government-sanctioned corruption (even if this was just one of the book's minor side-plots). And the reader is exceptionally good for the book.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful