Clear Light of Day - Anita Desai
"Nothing's over, ever." That's the conclusion that Bim and Tara come to after they spend a few weeks together in the childhood home where Bim still lives. That could be ominous, because there are a lot of unpleasant memories stirred up, from a childhood full of illness, unhappiness, and secrets. But they also have a chance to remember the sometimes-troubled love that united them and their brother Raja. Bim wonders why she's still keeping the house, caring for their autistic brother Baba, going through routines that seem as unchanging as the old records Baba plays over and over; she feels unappreciated. But memories and relationships change as well as persist. The continuity of life, in the end, leads the siblings to not only accept each other, but to see their parents and their unhappy aunt Mira as part of the necessary home too. This subtle, beautifully written book closes with a scene where a young student and his old teacher both sing, and Bim reflects on how the old man has been roughened by hard life, and how you can hear the possibility of that future in his student's voice, but they're both part of an ongoing tradition of music. She sums it up with a quote from Eliot (poetry is another force linking people in this book), "Time the destroyer is time the preserver."