Monday, April 21, 2014

#BookReview : The Vigil and Other Stories by Gita V. Reddy

On the jacket:

The Vigil and Other Stories 

'Delusions' has Rohit, an actor par excellence, slipping into different characters even when he is not supposed to be acting. Devika, his fiercely loving wife, finds an unorthodox way to draw him out of his delusions. 

In 'The Square', three successful painters hold an impromptu contest with their friend, who is unknown and a recluse. The result is expected or is it? 

'The Vigil' is about Naina, a young expectant mother, who is also a very busy professional. She makes all arrangements for the birth of her child but finds she has missed out on something very vital. Is it too late to make amends? 

'A Lifetime' is about the choices Tara makes when she falls in love under the ominous shadow of honour killing. Can she live with her choice? 

Fifteen stories, myriad emotions, diverse characters, milieus, situations make The Vigil and other stories a compelling read.

Review:

If you have been following my book reviews, you would already know that I love short stories. I believe it's very difficult to write a story in a few pages and if it has been done successfully, it is more commendable than writing sagas, in my opinion. Luckily, I am yet to encounter a book of short stories which made me rethink this opinion. The Vigial and Other Stories by Geeta V Reddy is yet another book with some amazing short stories. 

Fifteen stories with different themes and storylines, all set in different timezones, this book makes for a collection of stories which takes you to one lifetime, brings you back and takes you to a totally new one in the next story. 

I read parts of this book during a road trip. At one point, while we were driving over some ghats, my husband quized, "Isn't it amazing how monkeys are always seen wherever there is a Hanuman temple?" And from here, we idly went on to talk about the Ramayana and the conversation rested on Rama's injustice towards Sita. The same night, I read Sita's Lives. This story was an echo of my own mind, and was also so significant in today's time and situation. My favourite story, it tore my heart and I had keep the book aside, to pick it up the next morning again. 

I loved Reddy's style of writing. So effortless, so smooth. And every plot is so earthy, so honest. Every story isn't the best, but the good thing is that they are evenly placed in sequence. This isn't the kind of book you would take to bed and have a nice time with. This is a book of which snippets and incidents will stay in your mind and make you think, haunt you. 

Rating: ****/5

[This book review is a part of The Readers Cosmos Book Review Program. To get free books log on to thereaderscosmos.blogspot.com]

#BookReview : Be Careful What You Wish For (The Clifton Chronicles #4) by Jeffrey Archer

On the jacket:

When Harry and Emma Clifton hear about their son Sebastian's car accident, they rush to the hospital unsure whether it was their son who died or his best friend Bruno. Meanwhile, Don Pedro schemes to install Major Alex Fisher into Ross Buchanan's seat as the chairman of the Barrington Shipping Company, a seat that Emma desires following Buchanan's forced retirement. The Barrington family firm is threatened by Pedro's intentions just as the firm stands to build its new luxury liner, the MV Buckingham. In London, Harry and Emma's adopted daughter finds love in the Slade Academy of Art. However all delight at the news of the wedding vanishes when an old friend, Lady Virgina Fenwick, appears. Events take a turn when a hitherto unknown Yorkshireman, Cedric Hardcastle, takes a place in the board of Barrington's firm, changing the lives of both families.

Review:

The year long wait finally got over and I got my hands on the fourth book of the Clifton Chronicles by on of my favourite authors, Jeffery Archer. The first time I read him, I was in the ninth standard, and the book was Kane & Abel. I still remember being so awed and starstruck by how the book was written. I had just gone to the tenth, and had to hurry through the book, because - study! I remember, I reread Kane & Abel after my boards and this started my love affair with Lord Archer. Pretty late in life, I know. Nevertheless! 
I will first talk about what I didn't like about Be Careful What You Wish For. The wait!! Waited for year, got sucked into a mindblowing plot, and now, again! Wait for 2015! I know it's unjust to expect the next book so soon, but the impractical, book lover side to my mind hate waiting. But mind and I, wait we shall!

With this fourth rendition off The Clifton Chronicles, Archer has only reaffirmed - Who is the boss! At a time, when childhood remains just a memory, reading your favourite writers from more than a decade ago, and feeling the same emotions of exhilaration and excietement - is priceless. While most of my childhood favourites have either stopped writing, are no more or haven't been able to maintain the standard of writing, Lord Archer stands firm!

With an engaging title like Be Careful What You Wish For, Archer has brought about a whole new twist (and more) in this plot. Harry Clifton gets a call from his wife, telling him his son has died in a car accident only to find Sebastian alive and his friend Bruno dead. Bruno's father Pedro Martinez, who is full of hatred for the Cliftons (if you haven't read the previous three books, you should) is now more enraged because Sebastian was supposed to die in this accident and not his own son. Madder at the Clifton's than before, he wants revenge and this time his target is the hundred years old shipping company owned by the Barringtons. 

Sebastian heals slowly and starts working with Cedric Hardcastle who is the Chairman of the Farthings Bank. Hardcastle plays an important role in this story and even assists Sebastian in his plans against Martinez. While retaining a lot of old characters, Archer has introduced a few new ones and these form the core of this 387 pager. Some good guys and some bad, bad guys out there to serve revenge as it should be served - cold! A page turner, for me it was difficult to stay away from this book until I finished it.

Old Jack was missed. Hardcastle was molded on similar lines but, didn't fit the bill, in my opinion. There did seem a few parts amiss, but I am guessing all will fall in the place with the next editions coming out and the chronicle being complete. I'd need to read the entire chronicle together, once all the books are released!

Rating: ****.5/5

[This review is for Pan Macmillan India. The opinions are strictly my own and not been written under any obligation.]

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

#BookReview : A Newlywed’s Adventures in Married Land by Shweta Ganesh Kumar


On the jacket:


“Dependent!!?”  Mythili and Siddharth realize that being newlywed in a foreign country is very different from being passionately in love, long-distance.  She has just moved to the Philippines to be with the love of her life and new husband, Siddharth. After being a hard-as-nails reporter who covered crime stories of the goriest kind, Mythili is now just a ‘dependent’. On top of that, unemployment, encounters with expat-wives and culture shock leave her feeling like she has fallen down a rabbit hole. Will their love survive, or will she become just another unhappily married expatriate wife?  Will this real life Alice ever embrace her Wonderland?

Review:

 Before I begin talking about what's in the book, let me tell you this is the author's adaptation of Alice In Wonderful. How cool is that, right!! It being one of my favourite tales ever, it's adaptation took my fancy immediately. A story about Mythili and Siddharth, albeit with author Shweta Kumar's own twist to it.

Mythili and Siddharth are newly weds and are in a new land. Everything is new for Mythili - husband, country, surroundings. And this start her adventures. Manila is a strange city for her and so is everything in her new life. 

I loved Mythili, she is so one of us! While expats will identify more with her situation, any married woman would be able to identify as well and remember her own newlywed days! A laugh riot, some moments of love and some not, the story is set in the time where Mythili and Siddharth's relationship is also tested. This book is absolute love!

Rating: ****/5

[This review is for IndiReads. The opinions are strictly my own and not been written under any obligation.] 

#BookReview : The Avatari by Raghu Srinivasan

On the jacket:

A Mythical Kingdom: Legend has it that only those chosen by destiny can gain entry into Shambhala, the mythical kingdom believed to hold the ancient wisdom that humanity will need to resurrect itself from the inevitable apocalypse. They are the Avatari.  An Ancient Artefact: When Henry Ashton, a retired British Army officer settled in the Yorkshire dales, receives a letter from a monk entreating him to prevent a hidden treasure stolen from a Laotian monastery from being misused, he finds himself honour-bound to respond. Assisted by a retired Gurkha Sergeant, a high-strung mathematician from Oxford with a Shambhala fixation of her own and an American mercenary on the CIAs hit list, Ashtons mission leads to an ancient map that dates back to the time of the great Mongol, Kublai Khan.  A Secret that Must Not be Revealed: The group follows the trail, risking the perils of the inhospitable deserts of Ladakh, turmoil in Pakistan and the rugged mountains of Northern Afghanistan, where the Afghan War is at its height. But they are up against a deadly adversary with seemingly unlimited resources, who will stop at nothing to get possession of the anicent secret a secret that, if revealed, could threaten the very fabric of human civilization.

Review:

Of late, I have read some brilliant thrillers by Indian authors. Having grown up with a healthy appetite for thrillers, finding authors closer home has a different kind of thrill. Raghu Srinivasan’s The Avatari didn't disappoint.

A strong story line, knit into a well formed plot and clear cut, well-defined characters sums up for a good read that this book is. Henry Ashton, a retired British Army office gets a very odd request from a monk of a Laotian monastery, to find a hidden treasure. The treasure is a secret in a sacred mountain somewhere in Tibet.  

A very well-knit plot which keeps the reader engrossed, so engrossed that it comes as a surprise. I would expect such precision from a seasoned author, say, someone like Ludlum. Very few authors have the kind of style which makes readers come back to reading Indian authors again and Srinivasan is definitely one such author.

Rating: ****.5/5

[This review is for Hachette India. The opinions are strictly my own and not been written under any obligation.]
 

Monday, April 14, 2014

#AuthorInterview : Andaleeb Wajid

She is a pretty well-known name when it comes to Indian authors of the present age. Having books like Kite Strings, My Brother's Wedding, Blinkers Off and the very new More Than Just Biryani in her kitty, Andaleeb Wajid has ventured into a new genre. Her book No Time For Goodbyes, first of the The Tamanna Trilogy releases today. I read it recently and found it unputdownable, though I am very much an adult.  In conversation with author Andaleeb Wajid on her new release:



Congratulations on venturing into a new genre altogether, that too for Young Adults, the age group which is probably the most difficult to please. How, and why? 

Thank you! I really enjoyed writing for Young Adults. The reason I chose it is because I'm constantly looking for things that excite me as a writer and this really appealed. I've always felt very connected to the younger generation (although they may not consider it that way) but in my head I'm always seventeen. So that helps! 

Having made your mark as an author for grownups, was this a challenge to first convince your mind and then to write a book for YAs?

Not at all. I enjoy reading Young Adult fiction too. Most writers want to write what they like reading and so this was no different. 

How high was the anxiety? As much as your very first book, or somewhat better?

Anxiety about writing the book was pretty high because this was the first time I was attempting a trilogy. I already knew I wanted to write three books and I had to figure out how the story would move forward across all three, while still sustaining interest for the reader.

Tell us something about your struggle with getting published. We have a fair idea that it isn’t a cake walk. But how was the real deal for you?

Getting published was a very difficult process for my first book Kite Strings. I started looking for publishers in 2006 and finally found someone willing to publish my book in 2009. Even then, things never really took off the way a writer dreams and I realised that I had to stop waiting for them to happen and just go on writing. Shortly thereafter I published three more books with varying levels of success and now I'm here with No Time For Goodbyes which is the first book of The Tamanna Trilogy.

Please tell our readers a bit about No Time For Goodbyes.

No Time for Goodbyes is a story about Tamanna, a young girl who time travels to the past, when her mother is a teenager. All this happens accidentally with the help of a polaroid photograph that she finds at home. Now she's stuck in the past and she wants to get back to her time but she doesn't know how. It doesn't help that she falls in love with a charming and sweet chap, Manoj, who is her mother's neighbour in the 80s.

Any brickbats which really hurt, yet? 

Not really. Been lucky that way so far! Not that I haven't received any negative reviews but I try not to obsess over them (I'm lying!). Anyhow, the best thing is to just move on because every reader is entitled to their own opinion.

How and when did you decide to be a published author? Was it always a plan, or did you start thinking on the lines when you thought you had a plot with you.

I've been writing from the time I was 10 years old. Never really decided about being a published author. I have written plenty of short stories for children for a children's supplement and a book seemed the next natural thing to do. The plot of my first book was pretty haywire in my head but seemed to come together once I started writing it down. 

Is it difficult to write with a full time mother? How did you divide time between writing and everything else?

I treat writing like a full-time job. I work very hard at it. The mothering part is a bit easier because my kids are quite grown up now and when they head to school, my time is entirely my own. The rest just falls in place thanks to a very supportive family.

What next? Another new genre maybe?

The second book of The Tamanna Trilogy will be published in a few months. It's called Back in Time. As for taking up a new genre, I still want to do YA but with a fantasy theme. Let's see!

Who do you read, who are your favourites?

I read a lot of stuff, whatever comes my way. Romance, Young Adult, Crime Fiction and Literary Fiction at times as well. Favourite writers would be – Marian Keyes, J. K Rowling, Martha Grimes, Agatha Christie, Jhumpa Lahiri, P.D James, Joanna Harris to name a few.

People pass snide remarks saying anyone can be an author now. Does this perception affect writers in any way?

I'm not sure about others but the way I function as a writer is to put myself in a bubble. Maybe it annoys me, but I try not to let it affect me as a writer. I just do what I do best. Write on.

Any to-dos for wannabe authors?

A disturbing trend I've seen happening these days is that there are lots of people who want to write, but no one really wants to read. Believe me, one cannot exist without the other. At least not in a way that will satisfy your creative urges. In order to be a good writer, you have to be a reader too. It's one of the most important tools of the trade. So read as much as you can. The writing will come if it's meant to come.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

#BookReview: No Time For Goodbyes by Andaleeb Wajid

On the jacket:
 
2012, Bangalore. Sixteen-year-old Tamanna finds an old Polaroid photograph in the attic and stumbles into her mothers past.
 
It is 1982. Tamanna finds herself in her grandmother's house where her mom seems to be younger than she is. She also meets her grandmother, aunts and Manoj, her mothers charming neighbour. Manoj's granddad is a scientist working on time-travel but he seems pretty clueless about getting Tamanna back to the present. Even as Manoj helps Tamanna sort out the mess that she's in, they fall hopelessly in love. How will the impossible attraction ever work if Tamanna has to return?

A delicious romance, No Time for Goodbyes is tender, irresistible and unforgettable all at once
 
Review:
 
No Time For Goodbyes is about our regular 16-year-old girl Tamanna, staying in Bangalore with her family. She has a younger sister with whom she shares her room, and in her opinion since she has nothing in common with anyone in the family, she is probably adopted. One afternoon, while looking for a quiet place to read, she went to sit in the store room, which she liked to call the attic. A while later, her mother calls and she gets up to go when she finds an old polaroid picture of three girls and a boy. She recognises one of the girls to be her mother.
 
When Tamanna goes downstairs to see where her mother was calling her from, she feels strange. Then she realises the house is different and things weren't where they usually are in her own house. Slowly, she realises she is in her Ajji's house, in her mother's childhood home where her grandmother stays with her three daughters. Tamanna meets her mother, who was then younger than what she herself was right then. She also meets her mother's neighbour Manoj, on whom oddly for her, her mother has a crush and she herself was falling in love with.
 
Tamanna was in the past. In 1982. She's seemingly gone to the past through the photograph which she saw. Hereon, I would love to write what happens, how it's depicted and what I felt but it would be a sin to reveal the contents. Wajid has a very easy flowing style of writing, and is very easy to connect to. The fact that Tamanna met her mother, as she was 30 years ago, was an odd thought. For a moment, even I wondered how it would have been to meet my own mother, when she was a teenager - and know about her dreams, aspirations, crushes etc. Quite a nice thought, actually. I specially loved the bits where Bangalore of 1982 and Bangalore of 2012 are described and compared. Very smoothly done, actually made one wonder - Oh! There were no computers in 1982? or Oh maaan! She told him about the World Cup win of 1983!
 
So Tamanna is 30 years in the past where she meets a whole bunch of people and even falls in love. Does she get stuck there? Or does she manage to get back to the present. All I can say is, that the end is not what you might be expecting.
 
A fresh plot in a book for young adults, this is also Wajid's first for this genre despite her being an established author in her own rights. A very well-written book, I would say. Well edited, tight plot and with well defined characters, No Time For Goodbyes takes you through time travel, with a nice, warm feeling that will stay in your hearts throughout the time you read the book.
 
Rating: ****.5/5
 
[This review is for Bloomsbury India. The opinions are strictly my own and not been written under any obligation.]
 
 
 


Saturday, March 22, 2014

#BookReview : The Finisher by David Baldacci

On the jacket:

Welcome to Wormwood: a place where curiosity is discouraged and no one has ever left.  

Until one girl, Vega Jane, discovers a map that suggests a mysterious world beyond the walls. A world with possibilities and creatures beyond her imagining.  

But she will be forced to fight for her freedom. And unravelling the truth may cost Vega her life.

Review:

With The Finisher, Baldacci takes a break from adult thrillers and writes for the young adults. Having loved his other works, I couldn't resist not reading this book, despite it not being a genre I read.

The book is about a 14-year-old girl Vega Jane, who finds that there are many secrets hidden in her town, Wormwood. The residents of this town, albeit being humans, are called Wugs. With this book, Baldacci has come up with a whole new vocabulary used by the residents of Wormwood. Women are referred to as females, children as youngs, moon as noc, minute as silver etc. Vega lives with her younger brother, as their parents are awaiting death in the facility. Things start happening and Vega finds herself in the middle of it all.

A dystopian fantasy written for young adults, The Finisher is a pretty decent read. I don't suppose it is one of Baldacci's best works, I still think his works of adult thriller are way better. 

Rating: ***.5/5

[This review is for Pan Macmillan India. The opinions are strictly my own and not been written under any obligation.]

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

#Author Interview: Vishwas Mudagal

In conversation with Vishwas Mudagal, author of Losing My Religion:

Congratulations!! That was a cracker of a book. How does it feel to be a published author now?

Thank you. I am glad you liked ‘Losing My Religion.’ It feels wonderful to be a published author. And the response from readers has been simply overwhelming, I didn’t expect it. They love my characters, my story and my narration. It’s a dream come true for me.

Tell our readers about your book, please?

‘Losing My Religion’ is essentially the story of a man who loses his faith in faith . . . his belief in belief, and things that happen after that. It is, more simply, a tale of three characters from different walks of life who come together on a journey that changes their lives forever. 
It’s a roller-coaster ride that brings together adventure, travel, gaming, reality shows, and characters that are real, living, and breathing. Rishi, a fallen entrepreneur, is the epitome of today’s ambitious youth, and wants to change the world. Alex, a hippie, is the other end of the spectrum—the epitome of human evolution; this is where the human race will one day want to be—free from within. 
And Kyra, a mysterious gamer, is the beauty, the passion, and the intellect, which are the core of being today’s woman.

How long did it take you to write this book?

It’s taken me 4 years to write the book and overall 5 years to bring it out to the market. Like the story, the book had its own ups and downs, twists and turns until it was published. 

Have you always wanted to be an author? Or did this just happen?

I always knew I am going to write a book one day. But I didn’t know it would happen so early in my life. LMR struck me like a lightning. It was a story that had to be written; a story that had to be read… There was no escaping it. 

Humour, romance, good vs evil – you have it all in your book, and written with the precision of a seasoned writer. How did that come about, the expertise?

It didn’t happen overnight. Remember I took 5 years to bring the book out, rewrote it n number of times. I have 14 versions of the story, 150+ drafts. A novel like LMR is a pure act of passion. Add to that the way I perceive the world, the way I look at things, my experiences, the people I have met in my life—that makes the difference. 
I like to tell my story in such a way that the reader feels he is watching a movie, it has to be visual, fast, interesting and meaningful. Entertainment with meaning—is my style. When I wrote LMR, I was the writer and I was the audience. The writer in me had to entertain the audience in me. I don’t get entertained easily, so the writer in me had a herculean task.

Are Rishi, Kyra and Alex framed on real life people? Or purely imaginary?

The story of ‘Losing My Religion’ starts with Rishi being bankrupt, having failed in his business. Rishi’s character is influenced by one episode of my life, when I had to shut down my internet start-up in 2009. But the similarity ends there. Rishi became a character of his own later on. He is a character that everyone can identify himself/herself with; there is Rishi in each one of us.
Kyra and Alex are purely imaginary, clubbed with a lot of research. The specialty of my characters is that they are very real. They live, breathe and bleed. That’s the reason why readers are connecting with them so much and are unable to forget them even after they finish the book. They stick with you forever.

Who or what do you derive your inspiration from, to write and even otherwise?

I derive inspiration from everyone and everything around me. I pay attention to people’s stories, their experiences and views. I think the way I look at things makes the difference. I have always thought out of the box. I have an ability to question the status quo, so this quality of mine makes me innovative. LMR is all about innovation in storytelling. 

What next, and how soon?

This is a great question! I seriously don’t know. I don’t plan these things. LMR was an idea that hit me like a lightning and woke me up. Unless that happens again, I am not going to write another novel. 
But there is one idea that did hit me like a lightning, way back in 2011. It’s about a man set in the future. Whenever I think about it I get goosebumps. The story is gnawing at me to be written. Also, a majority of the readers have asked me to write a sequel to LMR. So lets see what comes next and when. 

Who do you read?

Ayn Rand is my favorite author. I do read Dan Brown, Jeff Archer, Sydney Sheldon, James Hadley Chase, Micheal Crichton and a few others. 

Any pointers for others wanting to be published authors?

Yes. Be passionate about what you write. Believe in your ideas and write only for yourself. If the audience in you is happy when you read your book, then the author in you is the most successful author ever. Leave the rest to life. 
This is my philosophy – ‘When you follow your passions, the world will follow yours.’

Sunday, March 16, 2014

#BookReview : Prisoner, Jailor, Prime Minister by Tabrik C

On the jacket:


India has a new Prime Minister but is Siddhartha Tagore the product of his genius or of his dangerous mind?   India is on edge, as a subversive internal revolt against the Constitution and the threat of Jehadi terror of an unthinkable level, are looming on the horizon. Ringing Shivas damaru in and out of Parliament, a sudden turn of karma catapults outsider Siddhartha Tagore - a conflicted genius, music maestro and prodigal son, with forceful views on China and Pakistan into national prominence as the head of the Opposition Alliance and finally as the newly elected Prime Minister of a disturbed nation.   But buried secrets are being resurrected and threaten to expose the past. Twisted within the double helix of menacing politics and hidden lust, Prisoner, Jailor, Prime Minister is a scorching account of Siddhartha Tagore's fascinating journey from Harvard to 7 Race Course Road.

Review:

It's the last day of the year 2016 and Siddhartha Tagore is taking over as India's Prime Minister. Prisoner, Jailor, Prime Minister is not just about a prime minister and him taking important decisions about the country, but about the person he is. This is Sidhartha Tagore's story. 

In the very beginning of the plot, there is slight hint by which what I could sum up is a relevance to the real time situation of our country - an extremist PM who came into power in 2014 had to resign in a hurry following something that went wrong and Tagore, the educated, smart, people's man took oath. 

Tagore's life, his family in Calcutta whom he cannot relate with, his days in Harvard and then his political career; all have beeb spun into a tale in a very interesting manner. A musical prodigy who is not heading a country - never imagined there to be a romantic ting to the life of a country's (specially India's) PM!

A page turner, you would either love this book or totally hate it. If you love thrillers, you have to read Prisoner, Jailor, Prime Minister! Gripping, extremely well-written, perfectly edited - reading this book was an experience of sorts.

Rating: *****/5

[This review is for Hachette India. The opinions are strictly my own and not been written under any obligation.]

#BookReview : The Midnight Rose: A Novel by Lucinda Riley

On the jacket:

Spanning four generations, The Midnight Rose sweeps from the glittering palaces of the great maharajas of India to the majestic stately homes of England, following the extraordinary life of a remarkable girl, Anahita Chaval, from 1911 to the present day . . .  In the heyday of the British Raj, eleven-year-old Anahita, from a noble but impoverished family, forms a lifelong friendship with the headstrong Princess Indira, the privileged daughter of Indian royalty. As the princess's official companion, Anahita accompanies her friend to England just before the outbreak of WorldWar I. There, she meets young Donald Astbury;reluctant heir to the magnificent, remote Astbury Estate;and his scheming mother.   Ninety years later, Rebecca Bradley, a young American film star, has the world at her feet. But when her turbulent relationship with her equally famous boyfriend takes an unexpected turn, she's relieved that her latest role, playing a 1920s debutante, will take her away from the glare of publicity to a distant corner of the English countryside. Shortly after filming begins at the now-crumbling Astbury Hall, Ari Malik, Anahita's great-grandson, arrives unexpectedly, on a quest for his family's past. What he and Rebecca discover begins to unravel the dark secrets that haunt the Astbury dynasty . . .   A multilayered, heartbreaking tale filled with unforgettable characters caught in the sweep of history, The Midnight Rose is Lucinda Riley at her most captivating and unforgettable.

Review:

It had been a while I had read a family saga spanning over generations and when The Midnight Rose arrived, it was a welcome break from other reads. A very well-researched work of fiction spanning across generations and continents, The Midnight Rose left me with a warm, queasy feeling with in.

Excellent editing, which has kept the plot racy and tight, well-defined characters and a kind of a plot which drags you write within itself, to witness the events. The story begins on the birthday of Anahita Chauhan, when she is old and crippled, needs help with her work but is looking forward to meeting her entire family in the grand party arranged by her daughter. All this while, missing her son whom she had lost when he was 2. 

The story moves from the present to the past, going way back to Anahita's growing years. A whole lot of characters are introduced, in the past and in the present. Riley has done a wonderful job in the plot handling the transition between the eras smoothly. Writing such a long story is not easy, but here, there is no loophole, no wrong information. The entire reading experience was a remarkable one, the story - brilliant!

Rating: ****.5/5

[This review is for Pan Macmillan India. The opinions are strictly my own and not been written under any obligation.]

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