Tales of the paranormal are something I enjoy reading. I’ve read a few in the genre recently, but when I saw the word “Yakshi” I had a feeling it would be a book with a Keralite touch and oh boy! Was it ever! A story that was quite filmy, and one that reminded me a little of one of my all-time favorite movies, Manichitra Thazhu.
Unsettled… the title of this book… has multiple meanings I find after reading the book. It refers to the unsettled state of the marriage of Divya and Raghav, who fell in love with each other, and got hitched forgetting the differences between them. The former is a Keralite, and the latter a Marathi. It also refers to the state of the vengeful paranormal being (yakshi) that haunts a hundred room mansion in the interior of Kerala, in a place called Cherakad. The mansion, according to legend, is supposed to hold the scrolls of love, poetry written by a scholar Shankara Shastry; and whoever possesses the scrolls can fall in love again.
The book was very engaging. It flowed nicely, and though in its bare essentials it is a love story, I felt no overdose of mushiness or such which I find in most of the novels in the genre. The narration is simple and executed in a way that incorporates both stories – Divya and Raghav’s, as well as the legend behind the mansion very well. It’s a breezy read, I finished it in an hour or so with the Kindle app on my mobile. And I’d recommend it without a doubt for reading on a short journey.
If anything could have been better, perhaps it could have been less predictable. I liked the legend part of the book much more than the story of Raghav and Divya, which I feel needed to be given equal, if not more, priority.
Simple plot, excellent command over the language and an engaging style of narration… it’s hard to imagine that this is a first-time offering. Congratulations to Neelima on her debut, and may more such gems come from her pen.
In A Gist:
Positives: Simple plot, engaging narration
Negatives: Predictability of the plot
About the author:
Neelima Vinod is a poet who also writes fiction. She spent her childhood being schooled in the Persian Gulf and holidaying in the warm, dreamy climes of southern India. Writing about the supernatural is an inevitable outcome of contact with the heritage of the subcontinent. She has acquired her M.Phil. in English literature and worked as editor, teacher and writer. Her current obsessions are her twin sons, the books on her shelf and off it, and her poetry blog.
Author: Neelima Vinod
Genre: Paranormal Romance Fiction
Publisher: Indireads Inc.
Price: INR. 175
(3rd March, 2014)