‘Mirror Image’-Danielle Steel

About the book
Author Danielle Steel
Picture of the Author  
ISBN 9780552141345
Price [INR] 199/-
Pages 524
Main Plot Mirror Image is a story of a pair of motherless twins-Olivia & Victoria. Identical in every which way except the personalities. One is caring, loving and giving and other is ferocious, wild and random. Both are beautiful, slender and catch attention wherever they go. The story is set in 1920s in the US of A. Raised elegantly in riches and comfort, at the age of 20 their lives changes, for good and for bad! Drastic steps are taken, new families are made and yet there is a void that only these two can help fill in for each other. They decide to play mischief for a little while, which they used to as children. Does that mischief fill their void? Where does their mischief take them?
No. of Characters 3
Tone of writing Rich vocabulary & Heart warming.
My take on the book
Review >A small mischief, turns out to be a big life changer, for their husband, their father and Geoffrey, a 10 year old son of their husband!

>The story is emotional, tears at your heart and you feel strongly about characters mentioned.It is like getting involved in the story so much so that it feels like happening in front of you!

>Being a twin is not a joke. An identical twin at that. They are inseparable like one soul two bodies.

>A story of sisterhood, family ties and love! Steel has done a great job at steering the story well from a happy tale to a reality spin and back to happy tale.

>At the end you feel it MUST have a happy ending, you feel that strong urge! And the end is indeed marvelous, quite logical and apt.

>The book runs fast, though it has 500 odd pages but since it is not slow you can finish it even in a day! I would term it as un-put down-able.

>If you are looking for a simple yet intriguing life drama read, this is the book for you. Also, the language used is impressive; you feel great reading such rich vocabulary!

>I normally love Steel’s books. Not that I’ve read her entire collection but so far I’ve 3-4 books and I like the way she writes.

‘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!!!

‘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.

‘Sister of My Heart’- Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni

Quick Data
Author: Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni

ISBN: 978-0-552-99767-6

Price: 425 INR

Website: http://www.chitradivakaruni.com/

Ha! Where do I start from? I’m overwhelmed by reading this tale. A story of two sisters-cousins actually. A family secret and an entire story of these girls’ lifetime-right from their birth to them are having babies. I read this novel in flat one day..could not just put it down!

It starts with these two cousins,Basudha and Anjali, as kids and takes you through their school and college life. How these fatherless kids are brought up with no man in the house and only mothers taking care of everything for them. There is this family secret which is entwined in the story so aptly that you are made to think what happens next. It gives a flavor of suspense too. Sudha is the first one to know the family secret and is taken aback-after all it is related to their fathers and how they died. The guilt takes over her and she becomes more protective of her sister Anju. Once the school is over these girls ,due to family crisis, have to give up further studies and marry the men their mothers choose for them. The fear of  an arranged marriage. The fear of unknown. The fear of leaving everything, you own right from your birth, behind for the one custom called marriage. Sudha, in between this process, falls in love with an unknown man whom she has seen just once. They haven’t spoken at all yet Sudha can feel that Ashok is the one she should get married to. But destiny has something else stored in for Sudha. These sisters are so bonded to each other that for one’s happiness the other could go to an extent of sacrificing one’s  life. To save Anju’s marriage and the bad name her elopement would bring, Sudha leaves Ashok behind and marries Ramesh-the man the mothers have chosen for her. Both the girls are married on the same day. Anju gets married to Sunil who is an NRI.

Something happens on their wedding day that makes Anju feel that Sunil has fallen for her cousin-Sudha. The pang of jealousy comes into her heart. It’s so strong that she for that very moment hates Sudha-her sister of heart. She herself is amazed to feel this hatred towards the one who she loves the most in the world-Sudha. But soon enough this feeling is at rest since Anju goes to the US of A and Sudha settles down with Ramesh Sanyal in Bardhaman near Kolkata. Their marital lives start and they are transformed into women now. The change that they go through-leaving each other at this huge distance, leaving their home behind, their mother’s and the most important part of their lives-their childhood together. The life they have lived each moment and cherished it. Marriage takes them through a roller-coaster ride. Although they are both prepared for being the good-dutiful wives they are not prepared for the pain and agony they will go through in their respective marriages. After 4 years they both are pregnant. Ironically Sudha’s mother-in-law discovers that it’s a baby girl and demands to abort the child. Ramesh, who is not more than a pet nodding in consent with his mother, doesn’t come to Sudha’ s rescue when she needs him the most. And then she calls Anju and these girls finally decide that Sudha needs to return to Kolkata- to their mother’s home. Sudha does the exact thing because she wants to save her child and leaves Ramesh and his house the very same day. Of course she has to bare the repercussions of this act and Ramesh divorces Sudha.

On the other hand, Anju exerts herself and works extra to save some money so that she can bring Sudha to the US where she and her daughter can start a new life-after all there is no future in Indian society for a divorced woman with a child. In the course of putting extra efforts to earn more money Anju has a miscarriage. Back home, Ashok is still waiting for Sudha and as soon as he knows that her marriage is no more he again comes to Sudha asking for her hand for marriage.

Will Sudha marry Ashok ? How does Anju cope with the loss of her unborn child ? Does Sudha go to the US with her daughter ? Will Anju’s jealousy towards her cousin creep in again ?

You gotta read this book for sure. There are places where I really did cry. Especially if you have a sister who you are pretty close to you will understand what Sudha and Anju go through the entire plot. The way these girls love each other, the way they are ready to do anything and everything…their agony and pain…their happiness entwined with each other’s..the  secret which is the history of the family but still peeps into the present….Chitra has her own way of spilling the words through pages and weaving the emotions and feelings into them so easily..I liked the way she writes. The title truly suggests what’s inside this book…a story of two sisters of each other’s heart. The story touches every aspect of womanhood..daughter,sister,friend,lover,wife,daughter-in-law,mother-to-be and mother !

My rating for this book is 4/5