Moth is a powerful and moving story of a liberal, Brahmin family caught up in the violence and social unrest of post-partition India. It is written with absolute fidelity to the small rituals of daily life, the allegiances and jealousies within families, and the huge and overwhelming forces of history. Every character springs from the page, involving the reader completely in their triumphs and sufferings - the writer's skill and sympathy are immense. I loved it.
I was utterly transported by Moth. In exquisite prose, Melody Razak takes us right to the heart and the heat of Partition-era Delhi - a fracturing city, a fracturing nation and a family attempting to hold themselves together when everything threatens to tear them apart. Moth is a rare, winged delight - able to stare unflinchingly into the darkness, while always illuminated by a fierce love for life. A stunning, powerful work by a brave new voice in British fiction.
Powerful and heartbreaking... The book's primary and unflinching focus is the female members of the household: Ma, her daughters Alma and Roop, among others, all drawn with such skill and love that they remain with you long after the final sentence.
I adored Moth. It's rare for a writer to appear fully-formed, but that's how I see Melody Razak: this is a remarkable novel and one of the best debuts I've ever read. It made my heart swell.
From the first beautiful and terrifying pages I couldn't put Moth down. The assurance of tone, the loving faithfulness to the complexity of family dynamics and female experience , the celebration of humanity and resilience amid the horrors of Partition all make for one of the most immersive reading experiences I can remember. I loved this book.
Gripping... Razak painstakingly paints a portrait of a family; their rituals, their private languages, their shared lives. This careful characterisation pays off, heartbreakingly, when the horrors of partition wreak havoc on small, happy lives.
Both a heartbreaking and heart-warming story, Melody Razak's debut transports the reader into the home of a Brahmin family in 1940s Delhi. She navigates their beautiful yet complicated relationships as India builds up to and enters Partition... Razak hones in on the strength and suffering of women; with moments as small as sharing stories, cooking food and plaiting hair becoming lifelines... Moth has a backdrop of religion, politics, class and violence, but the central focus is on family life. The character portrayal is so intricate that as the plot twists and turns, you'll truly care what happens to them. 9/10