It’s quite a challenge to review or discuss non-fiction, at least for me. In a way, I suppose, I’d rather go away from reality in a fiction rather than experience another’s reality through words. Reading realistic fiction is tricky then, because on one hand it reads like a fiction, but on another it is the reality of someone after all.
There are many love stories when it comes to Indian Writing in English. I’ve read quite a few. This book is a love story, but it is the true story of the author Ajay. It’s the story where he recollects his college life, how he met, fell in love with and married Bhavna, and the story of their life together.
The book is, being a realistic fiction, very emotional. And given the context, I can understand that. For the author, to write about the woman he love(d), after going through that loss, it would be difficult. I’ve always believed in the therapeutic power of words, and I guess the author would have believed in that as well. Through this book, he continues that true love story. When the writing is so close to the heart, the story would read more like non-fiction, almost as if the author is just talking to us. And the style of writing reflected that well. There wasn’t any high vocabulary or anything; it was narrated in a simple manner, and without beating around the bush.
The book though says “fiction” at the back. As a fiction it didn’t make me hold on to every word. The author’s struggle with the language is evident when that happens, though with heavy emotions at play, this might have been inadvertent. It also overwhelmed any attempt to lighten the tone of the book. If one were to look at similarities, it was like a true-to-life translation of Two States, because of the obstacles the couple faced, and overcame as well.
As a non-fiction, I’d say the author’s attempt to pen down the events of his life that led to the book has been successful. As a fiction, it has elements that leave an iffy taste. In all honesty, the emotions that overwhelm make it a story that’s a one-time read for me. But I can see it appeal to the taste of readers who like love stories and honest, from the heart, true stories at that. I’d rate it 3.25 to 3.5 stars.
|Title: You are the Best Wife|
|Author(s): Ajay K Pandey||Genre: Realistic Fiction|
|ISBN/ASIN: 9789382665540||Publisher: Srishti Publishers|
(© 3rd December 2015)