I have an old school philosophy when it comes to books. The first impression that a book makes on me is very important. Two things that play a very crucial part in that impression are the cover and the blurb. The reason I chose to read this book however is that it was dedicated to Nirbhaya. I don’t think I need to go into the details of who she is, because the country, maybe even the world, is painfully aware of that.
I’m a Woman and I’m on Sale, the first of a three book series, follows Harsh Jalan, a senior partner in a law firm and a very successful and smart lawyer. Maya walks into his office one fine day and his life goes topsy turvy. Maya is a victim of abuse, has been through it before too. She goes ahead and files a writ this time, but her boss isn’t one to be silent. He takes measures to keep the case, and her, silent.
Well, remember my two-part philosophy? I liked the simple cover design, though it felt a little funny. But I was very disappointed with the back cover. A book sells, I feel, on the basis of a blurb too. It’s the first look into what lies ahead inside the book. To have no blurb at all, and instead have 5 endorsements from important people, that was not what I expected. It irked me more when I saw the first page inside was also endorsements. I feel this book has the potential to sell out the first print copies, so I do hope the 5 endorsements go into the first page of the book itself, and a blurb finds its way into the back cover. As a reader, I think I’d want to read the book because of what it may hold for me inside, and not just because important people have praised it.
What I liked in the book is a very good pace. It had enough in it to keep me engaged and interested in turning the pages. The language, in general, is simple and lucid. I can tell that a lot of research has been done to bring authenticity to the court proceedings and dialogues etc. I liked Deepali’s character the most, which I guess doesn’t say much for the main characters. Maya, well… I applaud her character for showing bravery to survive all that she’s been put through And Harsh, I liked that he was willing to go the distance to defend and protect his client. I felt I could understand the decision that he takes, and the doubt that clouds him before he takes it. What the author also does nicely is to bring a villain that I hated; which is what a villain should do of course. Jograj has that “I’m the most powerful person here and you can’t do a thing about it” attitude that’s quite evident through the novel.
Editing was mostly good, but I did notice a typo error or two while reading. Not that it affects the read of course. I’m not that big a fan of legal thrillers, and I found the terminologies hard to understand. Though we get to know more about Maya through the sessions with Deepali, I felt it cut into the plot a little. I wanted the Harsh-Maya angle to continue. And on that note, I found the epilogue unnecessary. It closed out the characters from this part, but it’d have been more interesting to leave it at the last chapter with Maya fading away. There are threads that I find that still needs tying up, which I hope will happen in the next two parts.
I enjoyed reading the story, and look forward to its sequel.
In A Gist:
Positives: Pace, simple and lucid narration, extensive research
Negatives: No blurb, legal terminologies, incomplete threads
About the author:
Mallika Nawal is a professor-cum-writer. She is about to complete her doctorate in marketing from IIT Kharagpur. She serves as a Panelist on the WHO’s Network of Experts for Psycho-Social Working Environment in Developing Countries.
Title: I’m a Woman and I’m on Sale
Series: I’m a Woman Trilogy #1
Author: Mallika Nawal
Genre: Legal Thriller
Publisher: Good Times Books
Price: INR. 195
(30th January, 2014)