‘Me Before You’-Jojo Moyes

 

About the book
Author’s Name Jojo Moyes
Picture of the Author  
ISBN 978-0-718-15783-8
Price [INR] 399/-
Pages 481
Main Plot Louisa Clark, simple small town girl, gets employed at Traynors’, as a care giver (carer) for their Quadriplegic son, Will. Louisa and Will’s life take a different turn, their relationship gives a different meaning to the individuals they are in such a manner that at a point nothing matters to them other than each other. Are they in love? Do they take vows to live for each other forever? How does this carer role merge with a partner’s role? Is it even possible for a Quad to live a normal, wedded life love life again? What does Will want? What does Louisa want? Are they looking for the same things from life, once they’ve met each other? What does Louisa’s 7 years’ old boyfriend, Patrick, has to say about them?
No. of Characters 2
Tone of writing  Heart touching, simple yet polished.
Book Review

>A girl of average desires or no desire at all meets a boy with so much life inside him which is not visible to others on the outer.

>The girl has nothing major to do in life other than worrying about balancing the earning of her family against the expenses of them all. The girl belongs to a close knit family, full house and a set of parents who are caring and giving. A sister that is sharp and honest to the core in giving her feedback about her and the strongest supporter the girl has.

>The boy is bounded by situation, willing to end his life, not willing to accept that his ‘that’ life is no more in his hands and that he has something to look forward to live, like that! The boy’s family is filthy rich, wanting to save him but not knowing how to. The boy is in despair, totally drenched in self pitying his life and is full of sarcasm.

>In short, hope meets despair! That’s what I would call the beginning of this book and this meeting of hope with despair results in two new persons, emerging as confident of what they want from their lives and they support each other, even after death does them part!

>It is a story of this girl and this boy; Of wanting to make something out of life and completely destroying one’s life for its uselessness. The story is about thinking beyond your own self, thinking for others’ life and helping them achieve what they want to.

>A completely normal living human creature can also waste his/her own life in doing nothing and not knowing its’ own possibilities and potential and a completely non functional human creature can show you the way to your dreams and also make them happen in real for you!

>How contradictory am I sounding here? But that is the beauty of this novel. Moyes has given it a direction by which you would know what I mean above. Sometimes, having a normal life doesn’t excite us but if someone has a differently able life we tend to plan his/her future in a way that it looks all rosy and nice!

>I don’t know how well could I get the message out of Moyes’ story, but I think it tells you to look for possibilities in life, every life has a meaning, every human being has to give something to someone, it could be courage, love, patience, money, direction, hugs and companionship! This giving is important, everyone of us has a meaning to our lives, a motive to lend something to someone that will make his/her life better.

>I liked the novel, it shows you through two lives which are poles apart and how the poles come together to make a different world altogether!

>Although the other reviews say you would need box of Kleenex while reading it, I didn’t need any, not that the story didn’t reach me, it did but I guess I’m stronger than others 😉 *just saying*

>Jokes apart, I think this novel brought a smile on my face, gave me a food for thought, which I’ve written above and maybe that’s why I wasn’t teary eyed at the end of it!

>Moyes has written lot of other books, this one was my first pick. Would love to explore more of her writings.

 

‘Things I Want My Daughters To Know’-Elizabeth Noble

 

About the book
Author Elizabeth Noble
Picture of the Author  
ISBN 978-0-141-03001-2
Price [INR] 350/-
Pages 438
Main Plot Letters and Journal left for daughters of a deceased mother. Things that the mother wanted to speak to her daughters, to share with them as women, to guide them when they will most need her and she knows she’ll not be there by their side.
No. of Characters 5(+1)
Tone of writing Sounding real life, straight from the heart.
My take on the book
Review >A book that will touch your heart. Will give you idea of something that you would want to do for your daughter(s) when you leave them behind.>A mother’s heart tore open and laid in front of the daughters, separately, to cherish the thoughts and words their mother wanted them to know of.

>The book has passing on of woman wisdom, sharing of girly secrets, revealing of dark life patches, and expressing the deep love that a mother can hold in her heart for her daughters.

>The book will take you through the emotions, you’ll smile, feel sentimental and will make you cry, at least it did this to me, especially towards the end of it, when Mark raises toast for Lisa & Andy!

>It is a simple, written-from-heart book. Noble has crafted all the characters very well and they go absolutely well with the story line.

>I would not say I loved the book, like I’ve read the raving reviews and heard from friends about it, but I would say it is a good book, one should read sometime in her life.

>I also felt that the book could have been organized a little more than it is now. The slicing of chapters and the flow of story could have looked better than this, although this doesn’t mean right now it is crap,eh!

>Nevertheless, a heart warming, mother to daughter, sister to sister and most importantly a woman to woman book!

>Leaving you with the best part of the entire book:

Do not stand at my grave n weep
I’m not there I do not sleep
I’m a thousand winds that blow
I’m the diamond light on snow
I’m the sunlight on the ripened grain
I’m the gently falling autumn rain
When u wake in the morning hush
I’m the swift up lighting rush
Of quite birds in circling light
I’m the soft star at night
Do not stand at my grave and cry
I’m not there I did not die!!!

‘The Lowland’-Jhumpa Lahiri

 

About the book
Author Jhumpa Lahiri
Picture of the Author  
ISBN 978-8-184-00386-4
Price [INR] 499/-
Pages 340
Main Plot A story of siblings growing up together, becoming each others’ shadows. A small middle class family touched by destiny’s ups and downs in the lowland of Calcutta (now Kolkata). It is set up in mid 1900s; where Subhash & Udayan grow up as one to only grow apart from each other in their lives.
No. of Characters 4
Tone of writing Literary & Maturely refined.
My take on the book
Review >I’m speechless, quite literally, after finishing it. There are stream of thoughts running in my head, to put them down here, but I’m unable to coherently arrange them.>I liked the book, though I’ve to admit that initially, in fact for almost 50-60 pages I didn’t really get the hang of it. I thought of abandoning the book and pick another one. But something inside me insisted to continue, and continue I did.>The writing is descriptive and reaches you. Lahiri has the knack of taking you to the depth of the story with her words.

>A story of love, betrayal, family and choices that we make in life. How turn of events change so many lives at the same time and a family is destroyed by the hands of destiny. It has all the emotions of all so many relationships, mother-daughter, husband-wife, brothers, sister-in-law and brother-in-law, step father. Midst these relationships, the story has been weaved beautifully!

>It is hard to be a mother, when you are not prepared, when you are drawn to your past, when you are in so much love that death doesn’t mean anything to you, it is hard to be someone else’s wife, to be married to the shadow of your own husband of love. It is hard to imagine that life, to live even when your soul has left you long ago to be with you deceased husband.

>The complications of relationships, the actions that we take in order to iron out the creases of life and how those actions turn out to be lethal at times.

>This story ascertains the fact that you can’t make all situations turn around. Something does go from bad to worse in life and all we are left to do is to accept the fact.

>How love doesn’t know boundaries of life and death. Love is surreal; it happens and stays within the human heart, forever!

>Childhood is the most important part of our lives and we retain all the love and hatred, which is developed in this phase, for eternity!

>There is a touch of political episode, about Naxalbari, in those times that took place in the country. Mention of wars around the world, but it is no way a political novel.

>I’ve to admit that I might not have done a proper justice while writing this review, as I’m falling short of appropriate words to voice my thoughts. I might revisit this review and add to it or modify. But the crux is I liked the book.

‘One Amazing Thing’-Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni

About the book

Author

Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni

Picture of the Author

 

ISBN

978-0-143-41655-5

Price [INR]

250/-

Pages

208

Main Plot

A group of strangers put together in a difficult situation by nature’s fury. They are stuck together for hours in that dark hole which has no opening and even if the opening is there, they aren’t aware of it. Do they befriend each other? Do they remain strangers? Do they find the way out?

No. of Characters

9 characters

Tone of writing

Refined and rich, a reader gets connected easily and instantly.
My take on the book

Do I recommend the book?

Yes. I liked it.

Reasons Being

>There are characters and there are their stories.9 characters, 9 stories, one amazing thing and all this in one life !

>Beautifully written and in a refined language. CBD’s hold on language is certainly the one which a reader looks forward to in a book.

>Have you ever imagined yourself thrown in a situation with complete strangers for an unknown period? You’ve got to read this book to feel this feeling.

>9 different stories woven in one plot with ease. It is not a murder mystery or a suspense thriller from any corner but it still is a page turner.

>Like the characters in the book, you’ll want to hear (read) all 9 stories before something big crashes and everything ends or before a positive ray of light enters and everyone scatters.

>It is about life and people in it. It is about relationships and emotions entangled in them. It is about feelings and their heaviness. It is about decisions that we humans make which have impacts on others’ lives. It is practical and real.

>I’ve loved CBD’s books (so far read 3) and can certainly recommend this author to one and all. Her books are for all, the genre suits every type of reader and will keep them engaged till the last page.

>Having said the above, I still would say that so far I’ve loved her “Palace of Illusions” the best as compared to the other 2. Her writings are intellectual and so much thought through. She is a blessed writer indeed!

‘Tuesdays With Morrie’-Mitch Albom

Quick Data

Author: Mitch Albom

ISBN: 978-0-7515-2737-7

Price: 225 INR

Website:http://mitchalbom.com/

After reading Albom’s ‘5 people you meet in heaven‘ I was sure that I wanted to read more of him and hence this is my second read of the same author.

Mitch Albom is a very successful sports writer journalist who is busy..very busy in his life and travels like the speed of lightning..he has no time to even pause and think about himself..He running short on time due to which his love life also suffers but he has no idea what to do to bring it back to normal…

Mitch’s life changes gears only when he sees Morrie,his old professor,on a certain television program and remembers that when he graduated he had promised his old professor that he would stay in touch with him..he also gets to know that Morrie is soon going to die with a disease called ALS [Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis]…that is when he decides to visit the professor..after 16 years..once there he realizes how much he has missed Morrie and that he would want to meet him often now till he is alive. They settle down on an arrangement that they’ll meet every Tuesday and Morrie will teach Mitch 1 lesson of life every time they meet.

There are 14 Tuesdays,that they could manage to meet until Morrie dies…These are presented in the book in a very crisp manner with life’s important lessons in 192 pages.

The book is philosophically toned and very ‘positive-attitude’ oriented book. It teaches of a lot of those things which you might already know but would not have seen from different perspective..It talks about very basic human emotions and realities of life like love,touch,tears,death,family,people etc.

Tuesdays with Morrie is a 1997 non-fiction novel by American writer Mitch Albom. The story was later adapted by Thomas Rickman into a movie of the same name, directed by Mick Jackson….

I also watched the movie and I cried…it does that to you !

My rating for the book is 4/5

‘Lightning’-Danielle Steel

Quick Data
Author: Danielle Steel
ISBN: 0-440-22292-3

book cover of   Lightning   by  Danielle Steel

The story revolves mainly around 3 characters of the book-Alexandra Parker,Sam Parker and their 3 and half year old daughter Annabelle. Alex is partner at one of New York’s most prestigious law firms and Sam Parker is a star venture capitalist, a Wall Street whiz kid. Theirs is a life which is totally hanky- dory.They are rich,famous and totally in love with each other even after 17 years of their married life. A picture perfect family anyone could envy!!

Alls super well until one day when the ‘lightning’ struck their life.Sam is caught off guard by Alex’s illness.He is terrified of losing his wife,his family and the love for her.On the other hand his past keeps haunting him and keeps him from helping Alex in her struggle to survive and go through this turbulent times. Alex, somehow is trying to cope up with her illness and she needs Sam so much right then but  is left all alone since Sam refuses to accept that she has the illness.He goes into complete denial mode and doesn’t want to be realistic. He thinks Alex is being too much hyper about nothing and affecting him and Annabelle and she has no right to spoil their lives !The ‘lightning’  creates a distance between them and within no time they both become strangers to each other living under one roof. It gets difficult for both of them with their individual fears inside their hearts and the distance keeps growing.The distance is evident and Annabelle notices that but the kid that she is,she is totally unaware of the consequences of their parent’s fading love.

While they are at it,struggling to manage their dying marriage another lightning strikes them and it’s about Sam’s rocking career. His life and identity are on a toss. They both are on a crossroad where Alex and Sam have to decide which way they need to move and whether they need to move together at all !

Danielle Steel has weaved the story in such a manner that it has everything right from romance,sex,hope,family,love,marriage, relationship,suspense and it has this psychological angle to the entire plot. She has shown what happens to the entire family when a lightning strikes to otherwise smooth and happy going life and how the family members are affected individually.The struggles to save the relationship and self-identity !

Through the entire novel you would feel that you are changing sides. At some point you may feel that Alex is right and after a while you might feel that Sam is not wrong either. It’s a gripping tale and I guess one the best of Danielle’s that I have read till now [The other being ‘Klone and I’ & ‘The Promise’].Though I didn’t think the end was logically right.But only if I was writing this story ;)

My rating: 4/5

‘The Binding Vine’-Shashi Deshpande

Quick Data

Author: Shashi Deshpande

ISBN: 0-14-023336-9

Price: 225 INR

It’s the story of 3 women.No actually it’s the story of women presented by these 3 characters in the book. Urmila [Grieving over the death of her baby daughter],Kalpana[young woman hanging between life and death,a victim of rape] and Meera[A poetess and Urmila’s long dead mother-in-law].

A confession that I want to make here-I just finished this book today afternoon.Since then I’m trying to sink in whatever has been written in the form of a story.I thought a lot and honestly,I could not come up with a proper review about the book in my own words.It’s kind of difficult for me. The book revolves around so quickly taking you through so many facets of life and how when unprepared and unarmed we as humans face it. So just a quick feedback about the book and not the story.

I have read Shashi Deshpande earlier also.This was her third book that I picked up [and to tell you I have 3 more in my library to read.]I have said earlier as well that her books are a bit shady and dark side.The plots are not about the best things in life and all that cream.It’s about reality.Somethings which we know but are distant in our mind and we care not to attend them since it’s not happening with us anyways.

I like the way she presents her characters.She writes about women as protagonist in her stories.And I appreciate the way she weaves the story in such a flow of words that you just can’t put it down.

While reading this one particularly,at some point I felt that I should not read it ahead since it’s too dark a set up for me.But something inside me kept on telling me that I should proceed reading the story and I did.And now once I’m done I’m glad I did.There is something about this book..the way it has been written which I liked very much.

Special Note: Those who really don’t like dark plots should not read it.

My rating for this book is 3/5