A Suitable Boy: Read our review of the 1,300 page book as the BBC adaptation airs

Emma Lee-Potter
·1-min read
Tabu (Saeeda Bai) and Ishaan Khatter (Maan Kapoor) in A Suitable Boy: BBC/Lookout Point
Tabu (Saeeda Bai) and Ishaan Khatter (Maan Kapoor) in A Suitable Boy: BBC/Lookout Point

‘A Suitable Boy’ by Vikram Seth, published by Orion: £9.99, Amazon – Buy now

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Published in 1993, this huge tome – one of the longest novels published in a single volume in the English language – is a much-loved classic. Set in newly independent, post-partition India, it follows the stories of four families, focusing on Rupa Mehra’s efforts to arrange the marriage of her spirited student daughter Lata to “a suitable boy”.

The first screen version of this epic story is currently being filmed in India and will be shown on BBC1 in late 2020. “It’s a charming, almost Austenesque story, with a delightfully relatable heroine, set against the turbulent background of India in the years following partition,” says TV screenwriter Andrew Davies.

Read the full round-up of the best Indian novels here

Read our review of the BBC adaptation here