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 .

Family Ties by Richard Risemberg

Richard Risemberg is a self-published & budding British writer. His genre specializes in exploring and sensitizing human relationships. His novel Family Ties, published in 2016, is divided into three sections. It is a mystery trapped in various complex relationships. One can say that it is quite similar to Khaled Hosseini’s, A Thousand Splendid Sons. As, the former depicts family issues of marriage, love, trust and war, similarly, the latter too showcases family relationships but with a twist of solving up a mystery.

The story opens up with a beautiful description of Lake Helena in Sierra foothills at Los Angeles. The protagonist, Lenny Strasser, a print shop production manager with his landlord and ex-cop friend Red Henshaw arrive here to relax. The narrative and plot of the story is simple yet complex. A Mexican couple Ray and Julia follow them and interestingly, the reason behind this action is not cited. Then, its revealed that landlord Red is missing. Lenny with his relative Uncle Angle, his friend Clarence and Mrs. Williamson, wife of retired cop Mae Belle Williamson investigate about the incident. The mystery begins its journey with the revelation of Red’s whereabouts along with Connie, another person surrounded by the mystery in a dying state. The novel ends in unraveling of a double mystery.

Thus, I rate this novel 5/5. To me, reading this novel was an exciting and overwhelming experience. The narrative technique developed a superb interest in me such that it made me curious to know what next now.

Till the last page of the novel, my heart beat had remained heightened. When I reached the moment that stated double mystery, it swayed me with many questions in my mind. Who kidnapped Red? Is it a personal revenge of someone? Will Lenny be able to save him? Will Lenny succeed in exposing the culprit? What if Red dies? Will the mystery be revealed? If yes, how? Thus, to witness the climax, the novel is must a read.

Moreover, the presentation of the novel in its mysterious form attracted my attention to explore what the mystery Is all about. Therefore, to conclude, the novel title is apt as it highlights the relationship of bondage, love, trust, faith and happiness. The author through mysterious ways has beautifully described the importance of these strong emotional concepts in a person’s life.

You can reach out to Richard Risemberg at

rickrise@earthlink.net
323-428-4669
crowtreebooks.com