‘The Twentieth Wife’-Indu Sundaresan

 

About the book
Author Indu Sundaresan
Picture of the Author  
ISBN 978-93-5029-210-5
Price [INR] 399/-
Pages 372
Main Plot This is essentially called as The Taj Mahal series and ‘Twentieth Wife’ is the first of the trilogy. A love tale weaved in the political historical plot, marinated with facts and dwelled in a little fancy. It is the story of Mehrunnissa & Jahangir, the story of want and desire!
No. of Characters Many
Tone of writing Round, Intelligent and explanatory.
My take on the book
Review >The book is intelligently written, well researched and has deep insights for history lovers and for non history lovers too.

>I had heard a lot of this series and about Sundaresan’s writing. After reading through this book I realized that the book is good, but hyped. On the author’s writing, I would certainly agree that it is great, enchanting and captivating.

>Sundaresan has a great command over language, the ease is felt with which she must have written it all. She is well versed and exhibits her intelligence through her writing.

>On the other hand I felt that the novel could have cut down by say 100 pages to make it crisp and precise. When one reads history, which is a not fiction, one wants constant actions taking place in the plot. If in the flow there is a little extra added widen the narration, it takes away the interest of the reader, me thinks.

>One reason I can think of writing a lengthy book is that when a writer sits for writing, the mood and the atmosphere determines the length and flow of writing. It is difficult to break down that flow of thoughts suddenly to move to the next chapter or even a paragraph.

>I’m no writer but I’m guessing this could be the case. That said, I’m not denying the novel the rating that it scores. It is a lovely novel, which tells you about bravery, love, lust and determination midst politics and empire-ship.

>This series has 2 other novels, Feast of Roses & The Shadow Princess. I’m not sure if I’ll pick them next but I will read them for sure, to finish the trilogy, to know what’s up next in the series 🙂

Advertisements

‘How to be a Woman’-Caitlin Moran

 

About the book
Author Caitlin Moran
Picture of the Author  
ISBN 978009194074
Price [INR] 450/-
Pages 309
Main Plot Real life experiences of a woman, her confusions, adventures, crushes, rivalry, feminism and motherhood; everything that a female goes through in life span of teenager to late 30s!!!
No. of Characters 1
Tone of writing Humorous, Pun intended and Pointed.
My take on the book
Review >It is sarcastic, real and is almost about every woman on this earth.>It talks about how woman are constantly judged, rated and are required to look good, know all and be available and how to break this stigma!>No stage in woman’s life is easy, as it sounds or portrayed or expected to be normally!>After reading this book you will know that it is okay to admit that you are fat if you are, you got a zit on your face that you don’t have a boy friend and that you are not sure when would you have kids because you’ve not planned them yet!

>The book takes you through Moran’s life herself. Ranging from 13 years to 34 years. Her family, her siblings, colleagues, fall-outs, boyfriends, marriage and motherhood. It has all and in a very candid manner.

>It is fast, furious and carries the enthusiasm throughout. The books is good if you want to have a good laugh at realities J

>I had heard raving reviews about the book and in that sense I did not love it like crazies, but I liked it! One time read, you can skip a little here and there to move on to next page and phases of her life!

>The best part of Moran’s writing is she is honest, straight and clear about what she has written. Writing about one’s own life in such detail and about everything , is courageous and I bow Moran for that!

‘Intermission’-Nirupama Subramanian

 

 

 About the book
Author Nirupama Subramanian
Picture of the Author  
ISBN 978-93-5029-323-2
Price [INR] 250/-
Pages 271
Main Plot A story of Sarin family, living an urban life in Gurgaon. The dynamics of a 17 years long nuptial knot, spouses who are independent and detached. In the midst of a steadily-but-not-smooth flowing, relationship, enters the heart and it’s whims and fancies stir up everything. It tells you, what you know for sure, that how difficult it is to deal with the whole situation carrying an upper middle class status.
No. of Characters 3
Tone of writing Straight and Simple.
My take on the book
Do I recommend the book? Not really. Though I’ll not reject this book by terming it as ‘not worth reading’.
Review >The story is easy, unfolds quickly without much fuss and like I mentioned above, the tone of writing and choice of words is as simple as unfrozen butter!>A corporate couple,Gayatri and Varun Sarin, in their mid 40s, with an almost-achieved-everything-in-life assumption, come at a juncture where their marriage does not have that ‘spark’ left in it.

>The story is about the couple who in spite of having lavish careers and good family are not happy, typically suburban types!

>The story takes the reader through the ups and downs of the puppy love, marital routines, newly found romance, a dash of adultery, family values, sacrifices and the whole sanctity called marriage!

>Subramanian has picked up a very ‘tried and tested’ plot for a story and has weaved in through the real urban life and its technicalities.

>The book loses its grip in the last leg of the storyline. Though the reader’s imagination is kept on hold for sometime as to what does Sweety Singh decide for herself and Varun Sarin, but the curiosity is killed with the pace becoming a little slower, giving away the signals to the secret easily.

>It felt like the author herself lost the track of that little suspense that came into picture and hence concluded the story plainly.

>The story gives you insight of extra marital affair, the confusions faced in the ‘this’ relationship and that one question at which everything comes to an end in the world-‘Marriage or Adultery?

>It has also shown the glimpses of a liberal women and how lot of them still haven’t realized where their happiness lies and they have their own lives to live too apart from being wife, daughter in law and a mother!

>It raises a question in the reader’s mind; do all marriages look same after ample years of time spent? Is a relationship outside marriage only about physical pleasures? Is there anything like an intellectual connect, an affair of minds, and whether that is even considered to be valid and legitimate outside marriage?

>We all are human beings, poor, rich, middle class, these are all tags given by us in the society to the financial statuses. What about the core of the human being, life? Everyone is made up of same red color liquid, pink flesh and white bones inside, aren’t we? Anyone, under this Sun can fall in love and maybe many a times! Then just be being slotted as not ‘poor’ can make so much of difference in our lives to accept our relationships and our desires out in public? Point to ponder!

>So are family ties important and take over us triumphantly or love has more power to rule above all?

>The book made me ask this to myself and to others: In all the suburabanian chaos, I’m not even sure if people still know the meaning of love? Are we sure we know what exactly it feels like and when to call it as ‘love’ love?

>I must say I loved the name of the book, it is aptly chosen and suits the plot totally!

>The book is average, newness is missing in the line but Subramanian has written it well because the very fact that it is a very common plot the write-up still makes you think for a moment and for that she deserves 3 cheers!

 

‘Those Pricey Thakur Girls’-Anuja Chauhan

About the book

Author

Anuja Chauhan

Picture of the Author

 

ISBN

978-93-5029-602-8

Price [INR]

350/-

Pages

388

Main Plot

A huge Thakur family with all the ups and downs that a normal family goes through. 5 sisters, which are ‘those pricey girls‘, and each one is a distinct character in itself. The story is about family bonding, disputes, hiccups of being all girls’ parents and all boys’ parents, marriage decisions and dash of love and hatred in between. Interestingly, there is a little political wave (Sikh Killing in 1984) added in the flow of family drama and it makes the novel intriguing, that said it doesn’t make it a politics based novel and does not confuse the reader between drama and politics.

No. of Characters

2 (+5)

Tone of writing

It is hilarious, straight forward, raw and very Indian. 
My take on the book

Do I recommend the book?

Yes, for those who want to read drama which is less like fiction but more like real life story. A no brainer, light, hilarious and tension free novel!

Review

>First and foremost, I’ve to mention that I bought this book totally based on its cover, it is intriguing and stunning!

>It is a light read, though a fat book, but will keep your mood light throughout.

>It has emotions,drama and portrays ghar-ghar ki kahani with a pinch of salt and dash of honey.

>Unpredictable, gripping and has crests and troughs of family drama.

>Chauhan has written the script in a fashion where in you can relate to so many things that happen in Indian families.

>Things like sprinkling cold water on the mattress before sleeping in summers. Or a group discussion and debate taking place to decide who would be the ‘would-be’ of one of the girls. Or Sister fights and leg pulling over clothes, boys etc.

>There are places where the author is very bold in using some abusive words but they match the flow of the story and don’t stand out to sound odd. Honestly, when I first encountered the words, I thought how odd, but then when I gave a deep thought, I realized that it suits the entire plot and the usage subtly fits in. 

>Chauhan has good writing skills, it is thoroughly researched and laid in a manner where in it will surely strike connect with the Indian reader.

>I liked the way Chauhan has done detailing of each character of the story and that too in a way that doesn’t seem like an introduction but a neatly weaved in the flow.

>On the other hand, the kids in the story are way to mature and nosey than their age permits. But that may be very typical of large families where in kids grow up before their age.

>The story length could have been shortened.

‘Not without my daughter’-Book Review

Basics of the book
Author  Betty Mahmoody with William Hoffer
Picture of the Author  
ISBN 978-0-552-15216-7
Price [INR] 325/-
Pages 517
Main Plot A true story of struggle of an American woman-Betty Mahmoody and her daughter Mahtob Maryam Mahmoody, to escape the trap Betty’s husband, Sayyed Bozog Mahmoody-an Iranian origin American, has created for them in Iran.
No. of Characters 3 leads
Tone of writing Very intriguing and straight. It makes the novel unputdownable.
My take on the book
Do I recommend Very Much
Reasons being >A trip to the different world of which one has only heard about or not even that.>A courageous tale of a woman, a mother and a tiny tot-which is learning for the reader.>The tone of writing as I said is so straight, without circles that everything that has been mentioned goes right to your head and you can imagine what really must have happened.
On the other hand >It’s totally emotionally draining story and needless to say it has an impact on you, for longer time.>There is a movie made out of the novel in the same name but I must mention that the movie is a long-story-cut-short presentation because of which the actual story looses its essence. There are many tiny incidences which are eliminated in the movie, which are important to the story line.

‘Words Can Describe’-Abi Grant

Quick Data

Author: Abi Grant

ISBN: 978-0-3350-51835-2

Price: . 285 INR

Abi Grant is a successful young television sketch show writer. One night she is attacked in her London flat, while she is sleeping, by a complete stranger-who had waited for her to come home from the theatre.

The attack-an attempted rape-was violent and terrifying. But Abi manages to fight back and escapes from her home and goes upstairs to her landlady.

Post this incident the nameless man-who broke into her home via a window-is not to be arrested for next 12 years. In this long duration Abi’s life collapses around her. She goes through a lot of ups and downs of life as well as the emotional trauma haunts her every now and then.It’s not the same again for her to sleep alone in her own house feeling safe and sleeping sound !

How does she copes up with all this ? What happens to the rapist? Does he get identified? Does Abi get justice?

The book is a piece by piece record of Abi’s life after this attack. A memoir of a sexual assault. What she goes through mentally, physically and financially. Though the novel’s storyline is intriguing and the quote on the book from ‘Coleen Nolen’ says “This is a book every woman should read”.  I personally felt that the book loses  its grip going forward. Slowly in the middle of the consequences Abi stops writing her story instead starts writing about the factors creating rape-culture, some digs at second wave-feminism et al. presenting unnecessary incidences which actually dilute the main plot. She also manages to write some humour in between the serious plot which sometimes is irrelevant to the mood.

Not that I don’t recommend reading this book. Just that it disappoints through the middle of it. Like you know there are books in which you can skip few chapters and still you can connect to the story line without even feeling that you’ve missed something important. That applies to this one. So don’t keep any high hopes.

It’s a onetime read- Words Can Describe is helpful for victims and survivors-who will feel less alone.It also provides a set of guidelines about how to cope up with the trauma without feeling guilty about being attacked and what to do or not to do. Of course it depends on case to case basis but it can be taken as a suggestive write-up for dealing with the trauma and stress and get back to normal life yet again.

My rating for this book is 3/5

‘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