Rupa & Co
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Kith And Kin: Chronicles Of A Clan is based on three generation of members of the Melekat family. Nineteen short stories have been weaved together to give rise to a book that is very engaging and enjoyable.
Summary Of The Book
Kith And Kin: Chronicles Of A Clan, published in 2012, is a collection of nineteen short stories that revolve around the Melekat family. Ammini Amma is the matriarch of this clan, and is the central figure of this book. All characters are related to her as they are her children or descendants. She lives in a big Keralite house named Mon Repos in South Malabar. The author starts of this chronicle with an introduction to nineteen members of the Melekat family. This helps readers to understand the family tree, and use it as a reference throughout the book in order to avoid confusion. Spread over three generations, each Melekat is unique and their characters have been developed beautifully.
The members of this clan now live in the US, Mumbai, and Bangalore. Unlike their mother, who is very calm, elegant and composed, the children's lives are messed up. When Ammini Amma's son-in-law dies, her daughter Padmini is relieved. Her husband's illness had resulted in very painful times for her and their children. Eventually, Padmini's servant Saju is fired by the family which gives rise to the story, Cast In Mourning. Colours is the tale of Beena, who is Amma's granddaughter. As the search for her groom begins, the power of superstitions grip the situation. The other granddaughter, Suvarna, has commitment phobia.
These stories are narrated by different people, but never by Amma. Her inner fears are captured in Passing Through where she is stranded in an airport. The story titled Ant shows how a young niece comes to visit the Mon Repos. This girl is amazed to see how her old aunts have spent their entire lives on run this place smoothly. Raman, Amma's old brother, is also an important character of Kith And Kin: Chronicles Of A Clan.
Beautifully written, these stories highlight the traits of each family member. Readers will experience joy, love, anger, betrayal, and more, in this book. The author's engaging narrative also contains a few Malayalam words, which are listed in a glossary along with each chapter. Kith And Kin: Chronicles Of A Clan is a wonderful book to read, and the flaws of each family member is treated with respect, and the diversity they represent is appreciated.
About Sheila Kumar
Sheila Kumar is an Indian writer, journalist, and former adwoman.
Kith And Kin: Chronicles Of A Clan is the debut book of author Sheila Kumar.
As an adwoman she has worked with JWT, HTA, and OBM. She has been a journalist with the Delhi Times, The Times Of India, and Femina.
She has also worked as a book reviewer, travel writer, and food writer. Kumar became a published writer at the age of 12. She is now a freelance journalist, and enjoys writing about anything that interests her. Her favourite authors are Ayn Rand, Shakespeare, and P.G. Wodehouse. She was born into an Army family, and is now married to Col. Sunil Kumar. The author lives in Bangalore.