On the day of Barack Obama’s inauguration, an enigmatic billionaire from foreign shores takes up residence in the architectural jewel of “the Gardens,” a cloistered community in New York’s Greenwich Village. The neighbourhood is a bubble within a bubble, and the residents are immediately intrigued by the eccentric newcomer and his family.
Our guide to the Goldens’ world is their neighbour René, an ambitious young filmmaker who ingratiates himself into their household. Seduced by their mystique, he is inevitably implicated in their quarrels, their infidelities, and, indeed, their crimes.
The Golden House is a modern family saga set in New York and Mumbai. Written by award-winning author Salman Rushdie so expectations obviously start high.
The story runs deep in its quest for finding self-identity and morality, as well as defining the current state of American culture.
It is full of literary allusions, film and pop culture references. Yet the plot moves along at good pace with plenty of juicy family drama, so it doesn’t get too big on itself.
The novel also deals with identity politics. The story runs in parallel to the elections of the last and the current American presidents who couldn’t be more different. Rushdie’s political stance comes through strongly which made me wonder how I’d feel if I was a Trump supporter.. but then I’m not American so who am I to judge!?!
“I don’t want to be elite. Am I elite?” “You need to work on it. You need to become post-factual.” “Is that the same as fictional?” “Fiction’s elite. Nobody believes it. Post-factual is mass market, information-age, troll generated. It’s what people want.”
“Think of life as a novel, let’s say a novel of four hundred pages, and then imagine how many pages in the book your story has already covered. And remember that after a certain point, it’s not a good idea to introduce a new major character.”
MY RATING: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
GENRE: Literary fiction