Book Review – Home by Manju Kapur

Manju Kapur is perhaps one of those few writers in modern India, whose stories can convey and express, some of the most complicated human emotions in a beautiful simplistic prose. Home is another one of Manju Kapur’s masterpieces, others being – Difficult Daughters, A Married Woman, etc. In what has become characteristic Manju Kapur style, Home is a tale which weaves an enchanting tale of survival and hope from a host of complicated and often disturbing themes ad sub- plots.

The narrative of the book is built around the life and experiences of Nisha, the only granddaughter of a traditional, merchant family of Karol Bagh. Although Nisha remains the main protagonist throughout the book, the tale in the story is of more than three generations of the Banwari lal Family. The novel discusses and brings to light a number of issues which continue to exist in “modern India” from caste, sexual harassment, gender discrimination, female education, objectification of women, but the main focus of the novel, in characteristic Manju Kapur style, remains Marriage and family. The sensitivity with which the author captures the stigma of Barrenness and desperation of a child is worth applauding.

The believable characters, with their relatable struggles and dilemmas combined with the eloquence and grace of Kapur’s writing make this novel capable of transporting one back to the 1990s and adds to the charm of a tale which is already fantastic , in its scope and narrative. At the end of the book, one feels connected to each and every character of the novel., and while one does feel disappointed and frustrated at a number of characters and events, there is no “villain” at the end of the novel. Home very accurately captures the very spirit of upper Middle class Delhi while exposing the hypocrisy and confusion of “family values” in modern urban India.

All in all, if you enjoy realistic portrayals of families and characters then this is one book that you should definitely read .

Lone Wolf by Jodi Picoult

Are you willing to sacrifice your love for your love? Jodi Picoult deals with the ultimate question of true love and loyalty in the heart-wrenching novel.

Imagine someone you love dearly. Now imagine that this person is sick and dying, and the life he lives is too painful to be worth it. So much so that you know for a fact that this person, if he was well enough to say it, would beg for death himself. Now if you had the choice to grant this…….would you do it? Would you be able to let him die or would you not? And would you be more selfish if you let him go, or if you keep him in that perpetual state of misery because you are too attached to give him up?

Questions like these do not have answers. The reason is that none of us are willing to think about them until we have to. This is what happened in the life of Luke Warren. The man who ran with the wolves (literally). He was an adventurer, too wild to have lived an ordinary life. Ironically though, not these adventures but a car accident put him in a coma one unfortunate night. The real tragedy however is what happens to his family next, as they have to decide whether to let him go off the ventilator or keep him in that vegetative state. Fully aware of the fact that he would never want a life like that, his family still cannot decide if they are ready to let him go.

This brilliant novel is yet another masterpiece by Jodi Picoult where she deals with the ultimate question of true love and loyalty- are you willing to sacrifice your love for your love? This tear-jerking and heart-wrenching novel is sure to leave its readers in a state of emotional trauma and purification.

Hence, I recommend it to everyone who has a strong enough heart. Personally, I fell in love with how well Picoult expressed human feelings and cannot wait to read more of this authors brilliant penmanship.

The Dog who healed a family- Jo Coudert

Can animals bring together and heal human families? What do you think? Read the full review of this amazing book – The dog who healed a family by Jo Coudert

They say soul mates come in all shapes and sizes. Tall, short, fat, skinny and sometimes even with four legs and a furry tail.

‘The dog who healed a family’ is a book of nineteen short stories about our furry friends and how these animals are more like us than we give them credit for.

It is a beautiful book that re-establishes the honest and unconditional relationship we have with our friends from the animal kingdom. It is a relationship that unfortunately we seem to have long forgotten, however these touching short stories remind us and take us right back to it.

Whether it is the story of the dog who brought together a family of adopted children, the talkative parrot who brought new meaning to the life of a widow or that German shepherd who comforted the sick and the lonely, every story in this ‘treasure’ of a book, leaves the reader happy and sad at the same time. Happy because of the love these creatures get into our lives and sad because we realise how ignorant we have become of that love.

I recommend this book to both animal lovers and those of us who are not particularly fond of them so that they become animal lovers too. It is literally impossible for anyone to not to fall in love with both this book and its protagonists.

We live in a world these days that has no time for love and compassion anymore. People have become so busy in their daily races that we have left humanity behind. Stories like these help us stop and look at what is really important and they help us realise the significance of these friends in our lives.

An Abundance of Katherines – John Green

Here is my review of An Abundance of Katherines by John Green

Colin Singleton is a child prodigy. Colin Singleton owns ten thousand dollars from a game show that he won. Colin Singleton only dates girls named Katherine. . Colin Singleton graduated High School as a straight-A student. On his graduation, Colin Singleton got dumped by his 19th Katherine.

An abundance of Katherines is another classic John Green book dealing with typical human emotions at the disastrous, evil age of teenage hood.  In this tale, Green introduces us to a guy called Colin. All his life Colin had been the intelligent kid. His parents were ever-proud of his accomplishments, however after his nineteenth breakup, his life goes haywire. Not only does Colin start getting depressed over his lack of successful relationships, he also starts doubting his future as he realises he is no longer a child prodigy. 

So what can one do, when one reaches a stage of midlife crisis while he is still young? There is only one answer. Road trip. With his ‘Judge Judy-loving best friend’ Colin decides to take a break from everyday life and go to an unknown destination.

Just like your average road trip story, ‘an abundance of Katherines’ is a crazy, wild and funny story full of adventure and fun that the protagonists have. Colin in his journey meets new people and begins to realise his the only way to solve his identity crises would be to come up with a revolutionary mathematical theorem of figuring out if two people can end up together (If that doesn’t spell NERD I don’t know what does!). With this theorem he not only aims at becoming famous and important again but also finally dealing with his relationship issues.

With new paces and friends, Colin manages to get the time to finally deal with his life crisis. Though this story follows Green’s ‘typical’ teenage-misery track, it still does not fail to make us smile and enjoy ourselves. For any Green fan this story is a must read, and for the non-fans, its great first book.

A Murder is Announced by Agatha Christie

The murderer has given an invitation in the newspaper that it is going to murder someone, but actually kills himself. Let’s see how Miss Marple will solve this case!

Hola people!

I hope you must be in good health. In these tough times I can proudly admit that “reading is therapeutic”.

So, I just finished reading another classic from the “Dame” Agatha Christie and Ia m absolutely thrilled to write this review.

I have read books with Mr. Poirot as a detective but had never read one with Miss Marple. And this book – A Murder is Announced” features Miss Marple as the detective.

The book starts with an announcement of a murder. There is an advertisement in the Gazette that a murder is to take place at Little Paddocks (Ms. Letitia Blacklock’s) house at 6:30pm on October 29 and the whole village is invited to see it.

It seems like an odd ad and people think, including Letitia herself, that it’s some kind of a game that somebody had arranged. So, everybody goes at Ms. Blacklock’s place to see what is it. Now, when the clock strikes half past six, all the lights go out, a man with a torch comes and fires thrice. When the lights come back, we get to know that Miss Blackock’s ear is bleeding and this man is lying on the ground dead.

The man turns out to be Rudi Scherz, a Swiss guy working at a hotel. This whole scenario looks a lot confusing and surprising to everybody as who might want to kill Ms. Blacklock and then eventually would shoot himself?

When the sheriffs dig a lil deeper into Ms. Blacklock’s past they get to know that she worked for a tycoon who left all his wealth in her name. The conditions are that she will get the money after the tycoon’s wife dies or if Ms. Blacklock dies first then all the money would go to Pip and Emma, the children of tycoon’s sister.

Miss Marple aids to solve the case and the novel gets all the more interesting by each passing page. Christie make sures that readers find it hard to put the book down.

There are around 20-25 characters and each of them has a vital role to play. The suspense continues till the end and when it is revealed, it comes as a huge surprise.

I would definitely recommend this book to my readers.

My Rating – 5/5