Posted in Books

Book Review: House of Cards, by Sudha Murty

About the author:
Sudha Murty was born in 1950 in Shiggaon in north Karnataka. A prolific writer in English and Kannada, she has written nine novels, four technical books, three travelogues, one collection of short stories, three collections of non-fiction pieces and two books for children. Her books have been translated into all the major Indian languages and have sold over three lakh copies around the country. She was the recipient of the R.K. Narayan’s Award for Literature and the Padma Shri in 2006.

Cover and blurb:
Simple cover with the photo of a girl, as is with most of her novels I guess. I liked the blurb, and it promised a family tale, one that is common in India perhaps, but mostly remains a story untold.

My thoughts:
I’ve become a fan of this author of late. This is the third book of hers that I’ve read in the past two weeks and the fourth in this year. When I read Sudha, it is like simplicity takes the wheel, and everything else takes the back seat.

House of Cards brings a small family drama to the fore, with the simplicity of village life clashing with the city life. We are introduced to Mridula, a young studious hardworking girl, daughter of Bheemanna, who is a very rich person in Aladahalli, a small village near the towns of Hubli and Dharwad, in Karnataka. She’s the apple of her father’s eye, and a very jovial girl. She enjoys her life, and is always brimming with energy. Years pass by and Mridula grows up into a beautiful young lady, and talk of marriage starts. We are then introduced to Sanjay, a talented, but poor doctor, who works in Mumbai. He’s a little careless and forgetful, easily influenced. The two meet at a wedding, and then again cross paths when Sanjay has to deliver a package to Bheemanna’s neighbor, and spends a little time at his place while that neighbor is away. They soon fall in love, and get married. The couple shift to the city of Bangalore, where he pursues his post graduation, and she takes up a teaching job in a government school. Things appear to go smoothly, till he takes up private practice after getting tired of the job at a government hospital. The story is about their family life, and how they rise in status in the city, but begin to find differences in their relationship.

When it comes to tone and language of the reading, as I said before, Sudha keeps it simple. But in the plot, she explores relationships in depth. How Mridula stays the same hardworking innocent self throughout, how Sanjay is influenced by the power of luxury that he finds coming toward him and begins to want the best of the best, rather than what is necessary, and how their son Shishir realizes the value of family very late. It shows the love between daughter and father, in Mridula and Bheemanna; love between husband and wife, in Sanjay and Mridula; and a whole lot others. It is a light read, and I could finish it soon, but the story stays behind.

You can pick up the book for reading while traveling, because it is worth it, and it will hold you even after the story has ended.

A rating of 8/10
A rating of 8/10

Book details:
Title: House of Cards
Author: Sudha Murty
ISBN: 978-0-143-42036-1
Genre: Fiction / Drama
Publishers: Penguin Publications
Price: INR. 250


This book is a personal copy. No payment was taken for this review.
The opinions expressed in the review are my own, and remain unbiased and uninfluenced.

Shared with Indian Quills Reading Challenge at Tales Pensieve.

(Aug 7th, 2013)


Poetry and writing are to me, a breath of fresh air in a life that is sometimes covered by the smoke of sorrow or self doubt. They also become the sweets I share to celebrate when life offers me a reason to. But most of all, they are to me, my life. For each word I write is a piece of my heart, a thought that just had to find its way into the world.

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