The Way Things Look to Me, By Roopa Farooki

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The Independent Culture

In her debut novel Bitter Sweets, Lahore-born, London-raised Roopa Farooki wrote an immigrant story that shunned the usual cliches. Here she takes another sideways look at a family in crisis.

At 23, Asif Declan Kalil Murhphy is not the man he wanted to be. His mother's unexpected death has forced him back home to look after his sister, Yasmin, a young woman with Asperger's.

Everyone tells Asif he's a good boy, but inside he's eaten up by self-hatred. Yasmin's condition, and her exacting need for routine, has dominated Asif's childhood and that of his other sister Lila. Yasmin herself has no idea of the resenment she has caused, but senses bad feeling.

A tender hearted novel that examines how siblings club together to keep one another afloat. A writer with few pretentions, Farooki is happy to tell it how it is.