A Small Fortune by Rosie Dastgir

69%

11 Critic Reviews

A more delicate “Small Fortune,” stripped of interpretive signposts, would be no less clear and much more affecting.
-NY Times

Synopsis

An entertaining debut novel reminiscent of Zadie Smith’s White Teeth that explores the lives of an extended Pakistani family of immigrants in London—all with a gently humorous touch and fond but wry eye

Harris, the presumed patriarch of his large extended family in both England and Pakistan, has unexpectedly received a “small fortune” from his divorce settlement with an English woman: £53,000. As a devout Muslim, Harris views this sum as a “burden of riches” that he must unload on someone else as quickly as possible. But deciding which relative to give it to proves to be a burden of its own, and soon he has promised it both to his extremely poor cousins in Pakistan and to his Westernized, college-student daughter. Then, in a rash bout of guilt and misunderstanding, Harris signs the entire sum away to the least deserving, most prosperous cousin of all. This solves none of his problems and creates many more, exacerbating a tricky web of familial debt and obligation on two sides of the world, until the younger generation steps in to help.

With insight, affection, and a great gift for character and story, Dastgir immerses us in a rich, beautifully drawn immigrant community and complex extended family. She considers the challenges between relatives of different cultural backgrounds, generations, and experiences—and the things they have to teach one another. A Small Fortune offers an affectionate and affecting look at class, culture, and the heartbreak of misinterpretation.
 

About Rosie Dastgir

See more books from this Author
ROSIE DASTGIR was born in England to a Pakistani father and an English mother. She was educated at Oxford University and received an MFA in film from NYU's Tisch School of the Arts. She lives in Brooklyn.
 
Published May 24, 2012 by Riverhead Hardcover. 384 pages
Genres: Other, History, Literature & Fiction. Fiction
Add Critic Review

Critic reviews for A Small Fortune
All: 11 | Positive: 7 | Negative: 4

Kirkus

Below average
Jul 01 2012

Although wryly insightful, Dastgir’s consideration of the immigrant community could use a little grit to balance the benign charm.

Read Full Review of A Small Fortune | See more reviews from Kirkus

NY Times

Below average
Reviewed by JULIET LAPIDOS on Jun 22 2012

A more delicate “Small Fortune,” stripped of interpretive signposts, would be no less clear and much more affecting.

Read Full Review of A Small Fortune | See more reviews from NY Times

Publishers Weekly

Excellent
Apr 30 2012

An absorbing conclusion reveals Dastgir’s talent, heart, and clear knack for pulling it all together.

Read Full Review of A Small Fortune | See more reviews from Publishers Weekly

The Bookbag

Excellent
Reviewed by Sue Magee

A perfectly-pitched look at the life of a man British man with Pakistani roots and family. I became so completely involved in their lives that I read the book in less than 24 hours.

Read Full Review of A Small Fortune

Fiction Writers Review

Excellent
Reviewed by Helen Mallon on Jun 14 2012

Dastgir’s control of the plot does not waver when the stakes are highest; more impressive, her characters remain fresh through crisis and denouement.

Read Full Review of A Small Fortune

Salty Eggs

Excellent
Reviewed by Shannon Sharpe on Jun 22 2012

This comedy of errors is almost Shakespearean with its intertwining plots and disagreements between the young and the old.

Read Full Review of A Small Fortune

Deccan Herald

Excellent
Reviewed by Utkal Mohanty on May 20 2012

it surely presents a finely-etched portrait of the immigrant life, peopled by characters whom you can touch and feel, sharing their sense of achievement and loss that is inevitable in setting up a home away from one’s own cultural moorings.

Read Full Review of A Small Fortune

The Literary Gothamite

Good
Reviewed by Lauren on Jun 03 2012

Dastgir does not grandstand, she merely seeks to inform, and she does so with a heartbreaking kind of clarity that would otherwise elude any and all of her characters.

Read Full Review of A Small Fortune

The Brunette Bibliophile

Below average
Jul 23 2012

I had a really hard time finishing it. Not because the text was complex or emotionally taxing…just the opposite, actually. The writing itself was a bit wonky and the tone of the piece was fairly static

Read Full Review of A Small Fortune

Basso Profundo

Good
Reviewed by Luke Sherwood on Jun 23 2012

the author gives each and every character a full human shading and nuance, from the main players to the ones we only get a glimpse of.

Read Full Review of A Small Fortune

chhotahazri

Below average
Reviewed by Trisha Gupta on May 28 2012

The book does eventually find its way back to shore, but by then it has lost us.

Read Full Review of A Small Fortune

Reader Rating for A Small Fortune
85%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 14 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


Rate this book!

Add Review
×