Preeti Shenoy is one of India’s most popular writers. She’s back with her newest novel, “It Happens For A Reason”. I have read every book of hers, and she has this knack of keeping the readers interested in the tale. I picked up her latest novel hoping that that hadn’t changed.
The novel tells the story of a single mom, Vee, who supports her son by holding two jobs, one as a gym instructor and other as the owner of a dog-boarding facility. It starts from the day her child is born, goes forward sixteen years in time to the present day, then a flashback to her school/college days when she met her child’s father Ankush, fell in love, became a model etc. We are also introduced to the characters around her life. Her son Aryan, studying in one of the best schools. To him, she’s the most awesome mom. There’s Jamu kaka, who helps her run the dog-boarding facaility Paw-Factor, and her best friend Suchi, who is bent on setting her up with not just someone, but her Prince Charming. And the quirky vet Dr. Saurabh who helps her with the dogs. When Ankush returns, sixteen years after leaving the mother-son duo, all lives in the mix are in for a roller coaster ride.
Each character had something to be liked or hated, they felt real. Vee’s character has strength, to have the baby even at the cost of her career, against the opinions of her family. The strength is also there when she faces problems professionally, later. Her friendly, fun yet strict bond with her son Aryan is also nice to read. The narration keeps the reader engaged and turning the pages, to know what happened before, or happens next. It’s also the “different” aspects like Paw-Factor that help this book stand out.
The flipside of this book is that it goes detailed in some parts, and hurried in others which kind of matter to the plot. I wanted to know more about Ankush, what his life was like away from Vee and Aryan, how he became the successful guy that he had become, instead what happens is that his character lands up sixteen years later, and the story zooms off toward the ending. And most of the characters’ stories are again tied up in a hurried knot with a prologue. The kind-of villainous mother for the lead character got a sense of déjà vu for me, which didn’t sit well.
Be it with the character sketching or the engaging narration, the prologue ending or even the repetitive aspects to the lead character, this definitely reads like a Preeti Shenoy novel. It’s one to be read, perfect for a day journey.
Title: It Happens for a Reason
Author: Preeti Shenoy
Publisher: Westland Books
Price: INR 200
(26th December 2014)