This saga of a Delhi family seen through the eyes of a young boy has all the expected passions—the rivalries, the betrayals, the hatreds and the odd moments of love and loyalty. It is Dawesar’s dispassionate and detached tone that gives Family Values its extraordinary power. Her controlled prose and unflinching gaze cut through the lies and hypocrisies, boring into the very bones of family life.
The silent, observant boy notes his grandfather’s consistent meanness to his sons and his daughter; he watches his uncles’ greed and avariciousness; his aunt’s resigned despair, his cousin’s determined self-destruction. But the boy and his parents have created their small oasis of grace; amid the plywood and plastic of their mean surroundings are love, generosity and respect.