Family Life is the 2nd semi autobiographical novel by Akhil Sharma, an awardwinning Indian American author.
Family Life tells about an Indian family that came to America in the late 1970s as part of the first large wave of Indian immigration to the U.S. and, two years later, suffered a terrible tragedy.
The family has two children; two boys, ten and fourteen. The older boy dives into a pool and strikes his head on the bottom of the floor. After the accident, he has suffered severe brain damage: he can no longer walk or talk; he can’t move in his sleep; he has to be fed through a tube. After the brain damaged boy spends a year in a hospital and a year in nursing home, the family decides to take him home and take care of him themselves.
This causes the family to breakdown. The writer has chosen this novel Family Life because it has a moving story about immigrant family’s response to tragedy. Sharma provides an interesting insight about how each member of the family copes with misery following the tragic accident. The Indian family, coming to America in search for opportunity for the two children, has to face the loneliness and despair in new land after their dreams turn sour. It was written based largery on his own family experiences as an immigrant living in America. Family Life lays out a story of unbearable loss and estrangement.
For not only is this novel about leaving a homeland for a new world in which nothing is like home, it is about another kind of migration altogether, which takes a family from everyday reality into a dark, secret place where grief has enclosed them. In Family Life, Akhil Sharma delivers a story of astonishing intensity and emotional precision. Family Life is based upon sharma’s own family experience as an immigrant living in America. Family is a recurrent theme of this novel.