The God of Small Things is a novel written by Arundhati Roy, which won the Booker Prize for fiction in 1997. Arundhati Roy was born in 24th November 1961 to Rajib Roy, a tea plantation manager from Calcutta, and Mary Roy from Kottayam.
The novel has many elements related to Arundhati Roy's childhood experiences at her mother’s place Aymanam, a village in Kottayam, and near to Kumarakom. The Meenachil river, which flows through the boundaries of Aymanam village is also a character in this novel.
It portraits the life of a Syrian Christian family of Aymanam, associating the socio-economic and political conditions prevailed in Kerala, from 1969 to 1993.
The story centres around Ammu and her twin children – Rahel and Estha (Esthappan Yoko). Ammu, the daughter of Benan John Ipe and Sosamma, returns from Culcutta with her children to ‘Aymanam Veedu’ in Aymanam village, after her divorce.
Ammu’s brother Chacko and her fathers sister Baby Kochamma (Naomi Ipe) were the other inmates of Aymanam Veedu. Chacko married Margaret when he was in England, and later got divorced. They had a daughter – Sophy Mol, living with Margaret. Baby Kochamma remains unmarried due to her lost love.
Margaret and Sophy Mol arrives at Aymanam for a short holiday. One day Sophy Mol died in a boat accident, and there begins the tragedy of the twins.
Estha and Rahel were friendly with Velutha, a lower caste servant of Aymanam house, with whom Ammu developed a love affair. When this relationship was discovered, with the help of a local political leader, Velutha was trapped in the murder case of Sophy mol, and later killed in police custody. Estha and Rahel unknowingly became part of the plot planned by Baby kochamma.
This resulted in the separation of the twins. Estha was send to Calcutta to live with his father. Rahel remains with Ammu. They were seven at that time. Later Rahel went to Delhi for studies and from there to the States. There she married a U.S citizen, and after a period, got separated, and returns back to Aymanam. Estha had already returned from Calcutta.
Estha and Rahel reunites after a long period of twenty four years, their lives lost in their haunting past.
The God of Small Things was highly acclaimed by the readers all over the world. It has translations in various languages including Malayalam, by the renowned writer Priya A S in the name ‘Kunjukaryangalude Odeythamburan’, in 2011.
River Meenachi and Aymanam village got an international fame through this novel.