Em and the Big Hoom is an incredibly beautiful book that touches on the sensitive subject of mental illness, throwing light on how a family is scarred yet remains together while dealing with the challenges of a family members madness. The novel starts off with the protagonist Em healing from a failed suicide attempt within a psychiatric ward. While Em deals with the madness afflicting her, her son weaves together her life story, and you get a glimpse into her life before it all began.
Through the narration, you learn that the Mendes love story starts off very much like a beautiful romantic novel, with Augustine and Imelda crossing paths in an office. After their courtship, they get married and have two children, a son and a daughter. Following the birth of her son, Em is caught in a never-ending battle with depression. The story brings to light the struggles of Em and that of her children dealing with a suicidal parent.
Throughout the novel, you get to see the underlying thread of love and affection between the family in the lucid moments of Em. While reading this novel, you find yourself rooting for a family that goes through cycles of happiness and sadness. You get to understand true selflessness as you see the husband lovingly nurture his wife through her struggles. The author does not mince words in narrating the story, and this brings in some much required comic relief from time to time.
The book has been written by Jerry Pinto, a journalist, mathematics tutor and school librarian. The other books written by the author include Leela: A Patchwork of Life and When Crows are White. You can shop online for the paperback edition of the book published by Aleph Book Company with ISBN-10: 9382277315 and ISBN-13: 978-9382277316.