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The Way Things Look to Me

Roopa Farooki

St. Martin's Press

My name is Yasmin Murphy, and I don’t remember very much about the morning that my mother died, which is odd, as normally I remember everything. Everything.

The Murphy family has never tried to be different; they just are. When Yasmin, the youngest sibling, was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome, her older siblings learned to adapt to less attention and more responsibility, to a sister with “special abilities” that no one, not even they, could ever truly understand. And then there’s the way Yasmin sees it: she sees music in color, and her mind remembers every tiny detail of every day until sometimes she wishes she could just forget.

Since the deaths of their parents, the three siblings have become adults in their unique, tragic ways. Yasmin’s differentness polarizes her siblings. Asif, the responsible oldest brother, has been left to take care of her by their middle sister Lila, the stubbornly rebellious beauty who resents Yasmin for her emotional distance, and for stealing their mother’s love and attention. Now, Lila leads a wayward existence, drifting in and out of jobs and relationships, avoiding the home where she was raised and where Asif and Yasmin make their own brittle household. As Yasmin’s committed caretaker, Asif is worn down. A young professional, he feels his freedom slipping away as he tries hard to keep the remains of their family together.

When the unthinkable happens, threatening the Murphy siblings’ delicate balance, and sweeping in the chaos they’ve spent their lives holding at bay, will they stand together or fall apart? The Way Things Look to Me is a deeply moving portrait of Brothers and Sisters, of three siblings caught between duty and love in a tangled relationship both bitter and bittersweet.


BOOK EXCERPTS

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THE WAY THINGS LOOK TO ME (Chapter One)As If He Wasn’t There

Asif Declan Kalil Murphy has a brooding resentment of his name, and by extension, of his deceased parents, although he resents them for many more things than his name, up to and including their untimely departure from life. The trouble with his name, he thinks, is that it promises so much more – it promises that he will be interesting and exotic and larger than life, Irish charm and whimsy blended with South Asian mysticism and romance. Asif finds it impossible to live up to his shining name, and so shudders moth-like just

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  • Roopa Farooki

  • Roopa Farooki was born in Lahore in Pakistan and brought up in London . She graduated from New College, Oxford and worked in advertising before turning to write fiction. Roopa now lives in south-east England and south-west France with her husband, twin baby girls and two sons and teaches creative writing in the Canterbury Christ Church University’s MA program. Bitter Sweets, her first novel, was nominated for the Orange Award for New Writers 2007. She is also the author of Corner Shop and Half Life. The Way Things Look to Me was longlisted for the Orange Prize and the 2011 Impac Dublin Literary Award. Her novels have been published to literary acclaim internationally and translated into a dozen languages. 

  • Roopa Farooki
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The Way Things Look to Me

Roopa Farooki

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St. Martin's Press

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