Raksha Bandhan 2020: Books to read and share with your siblings this Rakhi festival
This Raksha Bandhan seems like the perfect occasion to take a look into the relationship dynamics between siblings, albeit fictional ones.Updated: Aug 03, 2020 09:17 IST
Literature and fiction serve as a mirror to real life, as they say, and often, literature does a better job of portraying reality and human relationships than reality itself. In the real word, intentions are misunderstood, bonds fray, memories fade. But in the everlasting study of imagination there are no boundaries or flaws. The narrative, the characters, all are at mercy of the author and even more so, of the reader.
Literature offers us an immersed perspective into the lives and relationships of others and we find ourselves being drawn into a world that is not quite our own, and yet, one that is highly representative of the essence of reality. This Raksha Bandhan seems like the perfect occasion to take a look into the relationship dynamics between siblings, albeit fictional ones.
From the iconic Weasleys in the Harry Potter books, we learnt the importance of family and how much the support of siblings can mean. Jean Louise Scout and Jeremy Finch from To Kill a Mockingbird represented the childlike curiosity present in all of us as they navigated through their lives in a small town. Pride and Prejudice gave us the ultimate sister duo in Elizabeth and Jane Bennet and the siblings from A Series of Unfortunate Events showed us just how enduring family bonds can be.
As we celebrate this Rakhi, here are some books that you can share with your siblings that serve as delightful representations of the sibling dynamic:
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
Based on the lives of four drastically different sisters – grown up Meg, tomboyish Jo, timid Beth and precocious Amy. Louisa May Alcott gives us the perfect book about sisterhood and the struggles that 4 young girls go through as their father is at war and their mother works hard to provide a living for them. It artfully shows that even though sisters are most annoying at times, we love them like none other.
And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini
This book differs from Hosseini’s usual writing style as it is written like a collection of short stories, with each chapter from a different character’s perspective. The book is built on the relationship between the 10-year-old Abdullah and his 3-year-old sister Pari. Hosseini writes about the bonds we form in life that end up defining us and shaping our view of the world. The novel sheds light on the lengths we are willing to go to help our siblings in their time of need.
The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
This genre-defying novel by Dostoyevsky is about the lives of three brothers after the brutal murder of their father. Mitya (Dimitri), the sensualist, is always at odds with his father, which puts him in suspicion of patricide. Ivan, an intellectual who is tormented by his own mind and Alyosha, a spiritual soul that attempts to mend the rifts between his family. The book also includes the shady character of Smerdyakov, their half-brother.
Franny and Zooey by J.D. Salinger
The book focuses on the lives of siblings, Franny and Zooey, the youngest members of the Glass family. In the book, Franny becomes completely disillusioned with life and suffers through a mental and spiritual breakdown in their parents’ home. Her mother Bessie, though concerned, is unable to help her. Which is where Zooey steps in to offer his brotherly love and understanding, in an attempt to pull her out of it.
Salvage the Bones – Jeremy Ward
One of the most moving books written about sibling affection, it revolves around the life of Esch and her three brothers as they are attempting to safeguard themselves against the oncoming Hurricane Katrina. While their drunk father is useless, it falls on the 15-year-old Esch to provide for her siblings and keep them safe. Her transition from a sullen teenager to the heroin of the novel is remarkable.