The House Next to the Factory
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The House Next to the Factory shows a changing India over three decades through the lens of one family and the house that they live in.
Life in the house is humdrum and confining, but on a rare evening out, Kavya sets off in search of a nun; a beloved teacher is caught in the aftermath of the anti-Sikh riots; a loyal servant worries over his relationship with a low caste woman; while in England, an aunt reads William Trevor and pines for all that she has left behind. Over the years, the family's steel utensil business blossoms, and amid the clanging of metal and the churning of machines, the household transitions from bourgeois to elite. Yet at thirty, Kavya finds herself in Paris, hoping to get past the sorrows of her young life...
Delicate and finely textured, Sonal Kohli's extraordinary debut lays bare the complexities of class and culture and the difficulties as well as excitements of change, even as it evokes loves and triumphs, the pull of incongruous desires and the tragedies of everyday life.