Historical fiction

House Number 12 Block Number 3 by Sana Balagamwala

I found the writing in this story the highlight. It draws you in little by little. The story begins at one point in the timeline and moves back and forth before showing us a more recent update (although that is still not contemporary).
The house tells the story (which is not a spoiler, given that the blurb mentions it). It took me a while to warm up to the voice, but once I did, I found it a very entertaining way of watching things unfold.
The family has been residing in the house ever since their displacement after the partition of the subcontinent (or near enough). The former residents faced a similar situation when they had to up and leave. We hear that the girl of the house has a sort of mental issue seen by different people in differing ways. We are not left in the dark like the rest of the family is. An in-depth tour of the family, their bonds and their extended connections are provided to us.
In that context, I must say that the scene towards the revelation end reminded me of an Indian movie which had a similar reaction by the parent; in that case, it was the father/uncle, whereas here, it was the mother.
The story is set in a time and place which was illuminating and provides a viewpoint (the house notwithstanding) that few would have had a chance to explore before.
As is obvious, I liked the narrative style and storytelling fashion, but the plot itself was not as much of a draw to me. I felt like it could have been a shorter narrative with the central plot staying the same. In fact, it felt like a short story/novella at times.
I still recommend this to anyone who finds the blurb even remotely interesting because it is not a usually explored territory, country and period wise.
I received an ARC thanks to NetGalley and the publishers, but the review is entirely based on my own reading experience.

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