Books with a simple story come as welcome reads at times. Not too many characters, not too many plot twists, maybe not even an expected ending. As a reader first, these kind of reads go down easy. I don’t have to think a lot on it. And they flow very smoothly from page to page. I think the novel “Without You” is one such.
The novel begins with Ananya, a twenty-something girl, returning to her native place Sreepuram for a vacation. She stays with her grandmother, reading or painting to pass the time, but falls head-over-heels in love with Arjun, her brother’s best friend when they meet up. Her grandmother, a sweet lady, plays cupid and the two confess their love for each other. When things seem to be going well, an unexpected twist comes, and the two drift apart, kind of. Ananya, though she enters depression and goes back to Bangalore and is unable to get in touch with Arjun, can’t forget him either. But she has support to overcome that depression. Her brothers, family, two best friends… all of them encourage her and be with her. But she finds solace in a completely different way.
What keeps the book moving is the story, and as I said before, that’s because the book is quite simple. What I loved a lot was the descriptions of the beautiful Sreepuram that lead us into the tale on the first page. It brought a painting in my imagination, and could almost breathe in that petrichor fragrance. I like books that do that. Relationships are important in any love story, and not just the one between the two protagonists. Here, the relationship between Ammamma, the grandmother and Ananya is also one I liked. Ananya’s character is the cynosure, expectedly, so I think that character has been done due justice. I liked how the story flowed, from one time to another, one reason to another. It worked well. Each character has their own quirks and details which fit quite well. So enjoyed that. Preethi’s control over her language and editing is almost flawless I think, so from a purely presentation point, it is a delight to read.
I knew there was something about the Colonel’s character from the time he first came into the picture. His encouragement, his words of advice, his affection for his neighbor Ananya… all were wonderful to read, but I do not think the twist in the tale was necessary just then. It works well, helps to put some things into perspective and such, but it didn’t feel right in the end. As did the pace toward the end. It felt like everything was getting tied up in a neat little bow very quickly.
I’d say this book is one to take along on a day’s journey. It kept me engaged for the few hours that it took to complete reading. A good effort, and I’d say it rates between 3.5 and 4 stars.
|Title: Without You|
|Author(s): Preethi Venugopala||Genre: Romance|
|ISBN/ASIN: 9789384180195||Publisher: Write India Publishers|
(© 13th September 2015)