Author: Indrajit Garai
Self Published in 2016
Review by Miriam Atkinson
The Sacrifice is the final novella in Indrajit Garai’s first volume of short stories titled: ‘The Sacrifice’. As the title suggests, the stories are connected by the common theme of sacrifice.
This novella focuses on Francois and his only grandson Arthur. Set in within a city, Francois is already suffering from monetary problems when he gains custody of Arthur. Yet Arthur is the best thing in Francois life and Francois will do anything to provide for his grandchild – including skipping meals so Arthur can eat more. All of this is set to the backdrop of Francois’ life as an author struggling to get his latest novel published. Will the money come in time…?
The Sacrifice is my personal favourite in the trilogy and arguably it’s the strongest story. The way Francois and Arthur were written made both characters seem very realistic and believable in their actions, speech and relationship. Their bond was what really brought this novella to life and kept me wanted to read more.
As one would hope considering the title, in this novella the theme of sacrifice is very clear. Francois is devoted to Arthur and wants his grandson to have the best life possible. As a family with very little money, Francois continues to write novels ultimately as a way of making Arthur happy and to give the boy financial security. Worried about rent and bills and food, in a darker moment of the story Francois even considers committing suicide in order to give Arthur the life insurance payout.
Of the three stories in Garai’s collection, for me it was The Sacrifice that felt the most real. Despite being published in 2016, the core issues of this novella are very relevant during 2022’s cost of living crisis. With ever-rising costs and inflation affecting everyday items there are an unfortunately high number of families who currently have to choose between paying for heating and electricity OR buying food. There are many real-world parents making the same choice as Francois and going without meals so their children can eat more. In The Sacrifice Garai has managed to capture a hard-hitting snapshot into the lives of many working class households.
As with the other stories in this collection, I didn’t stop reading The Sacrifice until I had finished. While I thought the ending was a little hurried (maybe I was just wishing the story would keep going) the novella had a great pace and was easy to read. Saving the best till last, The Sacrifice is an excellent conclusion to Garai’s first collection of stories.
A copy of this collection of short stories was kindly provided to me by Estelle, a friend of the author. You can find more information about Indrajit and his works on Estelle’s website.
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