‘A Matter of Time’-Shashi Deshpande

Buy A Matter Of Time


Basics of the book
Author Shashi Deshpande
Picture of the Author
ISBN 0-14-026390-X
Price [INR] 250/-
Pages 246
Story Line/Main Plot Family matters and Relationships
No. of Characters Main leads-A couple and their 3 daughters
Tone of writing Expressive
My take on the book
The books is for >People who love dark stories with complicated twists.
Reasons being >A plot where in there is emphasis on relationships. 

>Fine balance of tone and placement of words-super hold on English, like always.

>An interesting read where in the reader is made to ponder as to why the husband leaves the wife in the middle of their long relationship and another husband hasn’t spoken to his wife in last 35 years.

On the other hand >Honestly I’m a big fan of Shashi’s writing but somehow this book didn’t create the same magic as the other 4 did. 

>May be this kind of complicated stuff is not for me or I didn’t do justice to the reading this time.

‘Moving On’-Shashi Deshpande


Quick Data

Author: Shashi Deshpande

ISBN: 0-67-005781-9

Price: 450 INR

Moving On’ is a presentation of a personal diary of a dead man, read by his daughter and her own thoughts revolving around the pages she is going through and her own perspective about the past which consists of the her parents, husband and children.

The book talks about family ties, relationships, commitment and the generations. Sometimes you just don’t have proper words to describe what you feel about certain things. I’m in that state right now when I think about writing a review for this book. There is so much to express yet no proper stream of words to put it all in. Those who have read Shashi’s books would agree with me that he books leave you thinking about your own life and somewhere in the book you find yourself revolving in the story too. It’s so real and close to life-nothing larger than that and nothing superficial about it !

I found it a different way to present the story line. I have read Shashi Deshpande in the past as well and I’ve never been let down by her work. Shashi’s command over language, verbal ability to match the plot and easiness with which the story moves and dwells the characters that are designed to form the entire book is truly amazing.

My rating for this book is 4/5


‘In the Country of Deceit’-Shashi Deshpande

Quick Data

Author: Shashi Deshpande

ISBN: 978-0670081981

Devayani decides to live alone in the small town of Rajnur after her parents’ death, ignoring the disapproval of her family and friends. She works as an English teacher,loves creating garden of her own,and is a very low key person living in her own world.One day she meets Rani, a former actress,who has  settled in the town with her husband and three children. Within no time Rani and Devayani share a strong bond of friendship or womanhood.They too aren’t sure but the relationship between them creates this need of meeting daily and sharing things.

Rani’s entry in Devyani’s life brings in Ashok Chinappa too,who is Rajnur’s new DSP.After few meetings with Ashok and lot of contemplation with self,surprisingly Devayani finds that she has fallen in love with Ashok..something contradictory to what she had thought that she would never get married and would always live alone-independent!! Ashok too falls in love with her,despite the fact that he is much older and married!!! Both of them painfully acknowledge & accept right from the beginning that this relationship will take them nowhere.

Adding the lines presented as the summary on the back cover of the book :

Why did I do it?

Why did I enter the country of deceit?

What took me into it?

I hesitate to use the word love,but what other word is there ?

And yet,like the word “atonement”,

the word love is too simple for the complicated

emotions and responses that made me do what I had done.

Ultimately,I did it because he was Ashok,

because we met.

That’s all.


Shashi’s writing tracks the suffering, evasions and lies that overtake those caught in the web of relationships.
There is no sepcific ending to the story,no one wins at the end..it does not carry the ‘everything turns out to be perfect because it’s the end of the tale’ attitude . This is a tale which is compassionate,spells nature of love,loyalty,deceptions and yet is rooted to the ground.

Shashi is one of the great Indian English fiction writers..though most of the times people might feel her novels are dark,which they are indeed,but I always feel they are rooted to the ground realities of life and work as a showcase of relationships,feelings and emotions for the readers

My rating for this book is 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