This is going to be a short one, and “Behind the Beautiful Forevers” may be one of my favorite books of 2012.
Katherine Boo worked for the Washington Post, reporting on the city’s low-income residents. after marrying a man from India, she visited the country, and from that comes here National Book Award-winning nonfiction novel about the slums of Mumbai, India. Boo followed families in one of the slums for three years, and from her insights and experience comes a fascinating novel of both despair and hope under such harsh conditions. The book reads like fiction and sometimes feels that way, too. Knowing so little about conditions in India in the slums, this book reveals so much. It’s an amazing read that I would recommend to anyone who loves a good story — no matter how heart-wrenching.