The People We Know – Farrokh Suntook
How do you cope with the realisation that you never really knew the person you loved the most? This is the question driving a story set in India and Britain about a woman who struggles to keep secret a shocking discovery about the husband she had adored
Set in London, Bombay and Mahabaleshwar, The People We Know is a story about a Sikh woman, Sheela Marker, who has been harbouring a secret about something devastating she discovered a year ago about Cyrus, the Parsi husband she had worshipped as ‘the most flawless human being on earth’. The narrative focuses on Sheela’s journey, from her desperate struggle to keep her secret to the pivotal moment when she finally finds the courage to reveal the truth about Cyrus.
The novel holds the reader in suspense, delicately handling a number of shocking revelations while at the same time dealing with a range of family and other relationships. It also addresses, quite possibly for the first time in fiction, a rare aspect of human behaviour that lies at the heart of the mystery surrounding Cyrus. This is one reason why readers have found the denouement totally unexpected.
Woven through the plot with its central mystery are a few leitmotifs that run through the book: first, how well do we know the people we know; second, the theme of intolerance of those who don’t “belong; and third, the complexity of relationships – in particular of love in all its forms – between family members, friends, people of different social classes and people from different countries, making the book a multi-layered love story.
The People We Know is Farrokh Suntook’s debut novel, although a business book of his – The Stakeholder Balance Sheet – was published some years ago. Following degrees from LSE and Columbia University, most of his working life has been in international marketing research and consultancy. He lives in London with his family, but makes regular visits to Bombay.
The People We Know has received an average reader rating on Amazon of 4.7 out of 5 and a highly favourable review in Parsiana (see below). It also received a positive reception at two book events held in Bombay (at the Cama Institute and the Willingdon Club). The following YouTube interview – conducted by the well-known writer Farrukh Dhondy provides further background information about the author and the book.
The book is available in:
- at Kitab Khana
- online from Copper Coin (https://coppercoin.co.in/product/the-people-we-know)
- online from Amazon (https://www.amazon.in/dp/8194877253/)
- online from Amazon (https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B09MYXX9G7)
- online from Amazon (https://www.amazon.com/d/B09MYXX9G7)
- from Amazon