It is the story of a spirited Parsi widow, two tailors — uncle and nephew — from a low caste, that is the untouchables, and a young Parsi student from a hill station who all are brought together by circumstances. In “A Fine Balance” by Rohinton Mistry, all the characters face an uncertain future in very difficult times.

They form strong bonds of friendship and an unlikely alliance that shapes the narrative realistically. The story unfolds in an unnamed city by the sea and could very well be a true story covered by a thin veil of secrecy.

It is a very touching and heart wrenching tale, which is beautifully written. A tragic story of four people who come together in the most unusual of circumstances, but also in a way that is totally believable and something that could be happening this very minute somewhere in this world. The tragedies that each character faces feel too real, mainly as the author takes time in sketching out each character in so much detail and with their backgrounds narrated so realistically that the reader can very well claim to know them!

Even though I kind of expected the grim end the book had, I still kept hoping that somehow there would be a happy ending. However, expectations aside, it’s the end that completes the story as perfectly as possible.

This author is a master storyteller! I highly recommend this book to anyone looking for a complete story that will remain with you long after the book has been abandoned on a shelf.


— The reader is a student based in Dubai.