An Equal Music by Vikram Seth - review by Caroline Moore

Caroline Moore

Among the Members of a Quartet

An Equal Music

By

Phoenix House 384pp £16.99 order from our bookshop
 

Vikram Seth ought to have won the Booker Prize in 1993 - or so most of those who have read A Suitable Boy will surely agree. It gives a superb portrait of a whole nation in a time of political, social and cultural turmoil; but it is for the human portraits that it will be loved and remembered. Mrs Rupa Mehra, the lachrymose, exasperating, transparently manipulative and infinitely touching mother, who is seeking a suitable boy as a husband for her daughter Lata, is a glorious comic creation.

Readers who expect - or hope and long for – the same panoramic sweep in An Equal Music will be disappointed. Wisely, perhaps, Seth has avoided repetition. His new novel is set mainly in England: his hero is from unexotic Rochdale (which makes 'people in London smile, as if the

Sign Up to our newsletter

Receive free articles, highlights from the archive, news, details of prizes, and much more.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter