Book Review: A Barren Heart

Rhea and Aman have everything that life could offer. A baby would complete the happy picture. Their joys know no bound when they conceive. Fate has other plans.

While I was reading the book, some portions stood out. I marked these with a virtual highlighter. Shilpa has that touch. A smart interplay of words to bring out the deepest giggle or touch a raw nerve.

Some portions are hilarious and some make your heart heavy. Yearning for a child is so intrinsic, one must have gone through to understand the pain. Rhea is a character many women will identify with. Her terrible plight and the ostracism she faces by her own sister are sure to hit a raw nerve for many. However modern we become, in such cases the society tends to stay narrow minded and mean.

What I liked:
1) The stunning cover
2) The plot – very real, very necessary
3) Character arcs

What could have been better:
1) The ending – seemed a bit odd to me
2) The reason for conflict was not substantial for me

A nice weekend read. Do grab a cup of coffee to go along.

Book Review: Educated

TaraWestover has given a raw account of her Mormon upbringing and how she defied odds to get a PhD.

A brilliant #memoir by a survivor. A woman who dared to stand up to her kith and kin, to defy all odds, to reach out and grab what was rightfully hers.

I have never completed a memoir in a day. I read this one as if my survival depended on it.  An exhilaration overtook me when I finally knew what Tara did in the end. I had to know it.

It was not the fact that I was invested in her trauma that made me go through this. It was the mundaneness of the #abuse, the #normalization of it, that shook me and held me captive. The power thay Tara had over me was at times overwhelming.

If you take out the basic plot and fit it somewhere else, the effect might be the same. The extreme abuse and trauma that Tara undergoes at the hands of her family is unimaginable.

The first time I was made witness to it, I felt the sting, the burning, it was raw, like human flesh put to a burning charcoal. But then it happened again and again. Like not allowing a wound to heal. Physical wounda heal but psychological ones take years to even get attention.

Which God would be harsh enough to demand a sacrifice like this? Leaving the religion part aside, Tara’s journey from the Peak to Harvard is one full of volcanoes and shiting sands. She traverses them with panache. In the process, she leaves behind something she never dreamt she would have to discard, her identity, her beliefs that her highly orthodox #Mormon parents had forced on her.

The truths that she believed in, like the Medical establishment was Satan, trying to poison the bodies so that he could possess their souls.

Tara watches, mostly, a mute spectator when her Mother claiming to be a #healer, bandages third degree burns at home with home made salves and  homeopathic medicines.

I went along with Tara, feeling every cringe and pain that she underwent. When she cleans the toilet knowing well that her face might be in it anytime soon. When she bolts at the mere touch of her first boyfriend.

Do I reccomend this book?

Yes. Of course! Let me add a disclaimer as well. Pick it up if you can stomach gore, abuse and such.

#CoverReveal of Shilpa Suraj’s Saved By Love

~ Cover Reveal ~
Saved by Love
by Shilpa Suraj
About the Book:
They meet under impossible circumstances.
She is kidnapped by terrorists blackmailing her father, a Supreme Court Judge. He leads the team sent to rescue her.
Trekking to safety through Ladakh… They are in danger of falling in love. But, Lt. Col. Arjun Rathod knows that Naina Ahuja, engaged to politics’ rising star, is not meant for him.
Forever changed by her trauma, Naina walks out of her controlling family and forges a new life.
And then, she meets Arjun again. But this time, he is engaged to someone else.
Can they save their love or is it too late?
About the Author:
Shilpa Suraj wears many hats – corporate drone, homemaker, mother to a fabulous toddler and author.
An avid reader with an overactive imagination, Shilpa has weaved stories in her head since she was a child. Her previous stints at Google, in an ad agency and as an entrepreneur provide colour to her present day stories, both fiction and non-fiction.

Contact the Author:

Book Review: Bittersweet by Rajesh Konsam

Publisher: Viswakarma Publishers

Author: Rajesh Konsam

Pages: 198

Ease of reading: 5/5

Review rating: 5/5

**Recommended in a group**

Bittersweet is Rajesh’s debut book. The novel’s protagonist is Roshan, a songwriter and salesperson. Writing songs and poetry since he was a teenager, Roshan lives life on his terms. He loves passionately, stands by his friends and fiercely pursues his dreams. Though, he does need some goading but he picks up the guitar and stuns people with his heart wrenching songs/lyrics once he gathers enough steam.

Roshan also falls prey to his mind playing tricks on him. He nurses one setback for a while before he discovers the true purpose of his life.

Ragini, the woman who breaks up with Roshan and nearly destroys him aims for the stars. On the other hand, when given a choice, Roshan chooses his friends and love over money and fame. Roshan and Ragini present different world views and you, the reader, are caught between not fully able to hate Ragini and not being able to root for her.

Roshan’s mental preparedness for the several curveballs that are thrown at him would surprise you if you were not prepared for it. Roshan is a lovable and believable character. You will root for him, cry with him and feel his pain.

Ragini and Shanaya invoke similarly intense emotions in oneself. So does Roshan’s betsie, Sunny. Characters come alive in your mind when you turn the pages of Rajesh’s Bittersweet. The beautifully written lyrics, neatly interspersed with the prose gives you a reason to sit back and enjoy the journey that the young author has designed for you. Each poem/song has so much pain and depth, one would find it tough not to be moved by it.

The narrative is sprinkled with quotes and beautiful lyrics written by the author himself. The sincerity with which Rajesh has worked on his debut book, each and every chapter shines, like polished diamonds. His hard work at writing fantastic prose is evident.

I always believe that even a brilliant writer can be upended by a lazy editor/proofreader. The author has left no stones unturned to ensure the copy is error free. A book written with love, about love, about aspirations and friendships, about second chances, about the belief in life’s motives to bring us to the light after we have crossed the storms. This is the book you would want to read if you believe in second chances and that everything gets better by the end of it all.

I highly recommend this book, it is sure to warm your heart and make you reach out to your loved one or that long lost friend you never bothered to call.

Go ahead, pick this one up. 🙂

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