Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Review:- Roopa FAROOKI – “Corner Shop”

Publ: 2008
My own copy
ISBN: 978-0-330-44364-7
Genre: General
Pages: 351p
Found by Serendipity
Rating: ***** *****

What led you to pick up this book?
The blurb – “There are only two tragedies in life. One is not getting your heart’s desire – and the other? Getting it.

Describe the plot without giving anything away.
Fourteen-year-old Lucky Khanum is passionate about three things: football, Star Wars, and Portia, the girl who works in his grandfather's corner shop. In that order. While Lucky pursues his girl and his dreams of one day scoring for England, his mother Delphine, the woman who seems to have everything, fantasizes about rediscovering the freedom of her youth. But rekindling a relationship with her father-in-law Zaki is only going to end in disaster. And, as they move closer to their dreams, do they risk losing sight of what's really important?

What did you think of the characters and style?
This is one of those books that you don’t read – you live. Each character pulls at different heart strings and the brilliant plot is well matched by the easy style and so very real characters. There are some books that you just keep on holding for while after you’ve finished the last page. You know it has ended but you can’t get away from the plot.

What did you like most about the book?
The characterization, the plot, the style – what more could one want?

Was there anything you didn't like about the book?

Thoughts on the book jacket / cover.
Poor – the book deserves better.

Would I recommend it?
Yes. It’s romantic, it’s funny, it’s thought-provoking, it’s very real.


“We are the dreamers of dreams...
We are the movers and shakers,
Of the world for ever, it seems.”
Arthur O’Shaughnessy

Would they have filled their pockets with stones, or expected that the heaviness of their heart, that the weight of their expectation, would be enough to enable them to sink into the current’s embrace.

Ah well, he reflects, in eleven years I’ll get my free bus pass and be officially too old to be called a black sheep any more, so everyone will just call me ‘eccentric’ instead. Bad old, mad old, just plain old old, eccentric Chacha Zaki.

The trouble with getting something good, he reflects, is that you get used to it, and then when you don’t have it. you miss it more than you ever enjoyed having it in the first place. You feel the loss more than you take pleasure in the possession. ‘Just like relationships,’ he says.

Quentin Crisp said something like that,’ says Delphine... ‘He said that he stopped dusting, as he discovered that the dust didn’t get any worse after a few years’.

ROOPA FAROOKI was born in Lahore in Pakistan in 1974 and brought up in London. She graduated from New college, Oxford, in 1995 and worked in advertising before turning to writing fiction. Her first novel, Bitter Sweets, was shortlisted for the Orange Award for new writers, 2007. Roopa now lives in South West France with her husband and two sons.

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