We have always grown up with Akbar and Birbal Stories. No Indians are Stranger to their Stories. Who wasn’t bowled over by Birbal’s Wit?
For those People who don’t know, Akbar was the Emperor of the Mughal Empire in India and Birbal, his loyal advisor in the Court.I knew I had to read this book when I saw it up for Review,
A month has passed since the royal wedding of Akbar to Hira Kunwari when a murder strikes them. Hira Kunwari’s brother is found dead in the Palace Gardens. No one sees anything except the Mango trees which bears the witness of his death. The guards who were guarding the Palace comes rushing on hearing a faint yelp sees Prince Sujjamal lying dead on the Ground. There are no signs of disturbances on the Flower beds in the Palace Garden. Was it Akbar who ordered the killings or the trio which came from Amer (Modern Day Jaipur).It’s Birbal whom Akbar trusts to win back Hira Kunwari’s trust who thinks that Akbar had a part in killing her brother. There were so many new names whom I thought were fictional were actually based on real characters who existed in the Mughal Era. I got an insight of what happened in the Mughal era and the tensions which arose due to the fact that Akbar, a Muslim marrying Hira Kunwari, a Hindu. Overall, a good mystery set in the Mughal Era.
Roy weaves a beautiful story .The story which is set in Kerala, juggles between the past and the present . The characters are well etched . Everyone has got a story of their own. If Estha and Rahel’s (who are the main protagonists)relationship, forms the exterior part of the novel,the interior part of the novel tells the forbidden relationship between Ammu and Velutha. Ammu is the mother of Rahel and Estha and Velutha is a menial worker ,who works in Ammu’s house.
Estha and Rahel’s relationship is just the coating encircling the Sweet and bitter relationship of ammu and velutha’s.Caste System which is prevalent in India is brought to light by the author. Ammu,who belongs to the upper class family gets into relationship with Velutha and the consequences they have to face as a result of this is what the story is about . I felt so bad for Ammu and Velutha. Ammu had to die a lonely death .To die with no one by their side,How lonely can it get ! and i cant even talk about poor Velutha . Velutha is imprisoned and and is beat to death .His only crime was that he was born into a poor family .
Roy describes the story in a beautiful language ,though i thought in the end it became strained .She manages to capture the essence of Kerala.It is rare to see these kind of detailed writing in an Indian Author .Only few Indian Writers have done that and she is one among the few
The rich gets richer ,the poor gets poorer
This is what happens in Shamsuddin’s Grave . It doesn’t say anything about the rich society ,but it is the story of a daily laborer named Shamsuddin. He goes to the big city leaving his family to earn money . Shamsuddin’s moves to Guwahati to provide a better life for his family . But in the end , he loses his family and earns nothing .Even in his death , he didn’t have a place of his own in his graveyard.Even though , it is sad to read , i found the humorous side of it .I know, it sounds weird . But trust me, you would also once you read the grave scene.
There is a love story happening between Lalita who works in NGO and Debjyoti ,her team leader. This book is more of Lalita’s story than Shamsuddin’s irrespective of the title . On the whole, i would like to commend the author for taking a subject based on poverty for her debut novel rather than going the easy way by writing a romance story ,which sells.
This book gave me a indepth knowledge of what the Assamese were going through .The flood which destroyed Shamsuddin’s home is very common in the region of Assam . We are sitting inside the four walled building and don’t know what’s happening outside the world .Books are a great source of knowing what’s happening outside the World . And this book did just that.
It was a bittersweet feeling for me after i was done with the book. All the light we cannot see is the story of two children growing up during the Second World War.
Marie has been blind since she was six years old .She lives with her father in Paris and when war breaks out ,she flees to Saint Malo with her dad.
Another parallel story runs through the book , the story of Werner who lives with his sister ,jutta at the Children’s house . Werner gets the attention of Herr Siedler when he repairs a broken radio.
He is transferred to Hitler Youth Group where he befriends Fredrick . Fredrick , who was at the wrong place. Fredrick who loved birds. Though his part was small , his story touched me . To be in a place where he didn’t belong .It is a painful feeling . I had been there . When his classmates started to bully him, i wondered why Werner didn’t do anything about it being his only friend .That is the only part where i disliked Werner .
Even though book is the around 500 pages , Marie and Werner cross path only once in this book ,which makes their relationship even more special . I wish i could have read more of them together but the magic would have been lost .
The beginning was kind of slow ,but it was good.You should not expect everything to happen at once in this book.The story forms slowly and steadily .
There is also another story involved here .The story of a cursed Diamond ,known as the Sea of Flames .All of these stories are interconnected to each other.
A great book !! Big Thumbs Up !!
*Warning -Major Spoilers Ahead !! *
Camille Preaker is a reporter based in Chicago . She is sent out to her hometown to investigate the death of two girls . While reading the synopsis , i got the notion that she was going to do a Nancy Drew and solve the case . I was correct since in the end , it was she who solved the case but Nancy Drew was perfect and we would consider her as the perfect role model. In fact , i did once upon a time. But that cant be said about Camille Preaker. She is smart and intelligent , but the thing is, she is damaged physically and mentally.She cuts words into her skin with sharp objects. i hope you get the idea. This is all due to her troubled past .She started this when she was 13 ,the same year when her sister died. She had always stayed away from home as this was the place which brought the worst out of her.She was never really close to her mother and her half sister whom she barely knew
Now to be thrust again in the hometown, living with people who are like strangers to her was difficult ,but later it gave her an opportunity to solve the mystery surrounding her sister’s death .
There are parts in the book which i found fairly disturbing .
No one is perfect in this book .Gillian flynn just brings out the worst in people and she is not afraid to write about it . We have got to give it her .She creates complex women characters.Be it Amy of Gone Girl or Amma (Camille Preaker’s half sister ) .I have to mention that Amma was really annoying. Gosh,how i hate that girl’s guts .
I would not recommend this book to everyone as this may not be everyone’s cup of tea .All i can say is that i loved it
WARNING : SPOILERS AHEAD!!
If Erich Segal wrote a Love story, then Gillian Flynn wrote a hate story. Thanks to the recommendation of my GR friends .I got to read this thriller. There was so much hype for this novel and all I can say is that it has lived up to its hype.
This is the story of Nick and well the amazing Amy . On their fifth anniversary ,Amy goes missing and the main suspect is the husband “Nick”.
I was fooled by Amy. I bet everyone must have
been ,all credits to the writer . I have read novels about miserable married couple ,they always do what they are best at doing ,bickering .But hey Amy is a cool girl or at least pretends to be , she ‘s always one step above others .She frames her own husband for her fake death !! REVENGE doesn’t get any better than this.
I loved it! Five stars from me
The Story takes place in Chicago where the society is grouped under five different factions . Abnegation, Candor,Amity, Dauntless and Erudite. Abnegation stands for Selflessness, Candor stands for truth, Amity stands for peace ,Dauntless for bravery and Erudite for Intelligence and then there are also factionless ,people who don’t belong anywhere . A divergent is one who shows more than one traits .For eg: A person may have traits of Candor,Dauntless or Erudite in them.
Tris , a 16-year-old who belongs to abnegation becomes a transfer by choosing Dauntless in the choosing ceremony.At the beginning ,she falters many times in the training under the leadership of Eric. But our feisty heroine comes out with flying colors with the help of her instructor, Tobias.
The Movie actually made me to read the book .In fact, i loved the movie version of Tris more than the book version of Tris.Maybe its the magic of Shailene.
Shailene and Theo,who played the part of Tobias were amazing together.
One thing , i couldn’t agree upon is the fact that when tris’s parents dies,she doesn’t take it hard.The author could have put some more remorse in her character .She was upset,but that is it !! It is forgotten in the later chapters expect for a little reminder.
But altogether ,It was a great read !! This novel can appeal to the teenagers .
In the beginning , we see Ankita, a girl of 21 showing up in a mental institution with her parents .
So what happened to anikta that she had to seek help from the asylum ?
The Rise and fall of Ankita :
Ankita has the perfect life . She has everything . She gets placed into a top management institute in Bombay .She also gets placed into an average institute in Cochin ,where she currently resides.Her boyfriend,Abhi pleads with her to choose Cochin . If given a choice to choose between a top management institute with an average institute .Top institute would be always in our mind .But, an average institute is considered bearable if it means you can be with your love.
We would have been facing a dilemma . But Ankita , she was not facing any dilemma . She was adamant in going to Bombay,She made it clear with her remarks. I thought she was really mean and selfish towards Abhi . Really ,Pride has gone into head . She could have at least made Abhi understand her decision .But no , she was downright rude. Abhi couldn’t take this and ends his life.
This was the first step to her road to depression .
She goes to Bombay .She works hard and tops the class. But in this process, She puts too much pressure on herself without her knowledge .
All hell breaks loose when her past is dug open by her Parents. When she is confronted with the past , all memories of abhi comes flooding back . She couldn’t take it .She tries to end her life .
The Comeback :
She gets admitted into a mental institution . There, with the help of a doctor, she slowly returns back to Normalcy . She makes new friends there, who have been in the same situation as she was .
All turns out good for this lady at last . She gets discharged and goes on to lead a happy life .
Take this book ,when you are feeling down .This book may make you feel good .
I have heard many things about R.K Narayan . I am ashamed to say that I have not read a single book of his till now, him being such a renowned writer not to mention the fact that he was an Indian. I saw his books at a book fair recently.At first , I was hesitant to buy his books ,but then my dad compelled me ,So I ended up buying two of his books .
Better late than never.
The story is about Swami,Mani and Rajam who were foes at first but then went on to become great friends .What I like most in this novel is that I could connect with the characters ,be it Swami ,Mani or Rajam. There would have always been a swami/Mani/Rajam in our school days. At times ,I could relate with swami .It was ironic when Mani ,who was at loggerheads with Rajam in the beginning, was with him till the end .
The writing is simple and clear.This story took me back to my childhood days, where I enjoyed life to the fullest, where the biggest problems was scoring low marks. No boss, No responsibility ,free as a bird.