We choose some books. Some books choose us. Some books are chosen for us. This book by Jahnavi Barua falls under the third. If I would have chanced upon this book at a bookstore, I may not have bought it. Neither the cover nor the blurb would have made sense to my book judgment. I was curious to know if I’d love it.
The novel is the tale of mother and child, the latter yet to be born, but very much anticipated and yearned for by the former. Kaberi is pregnant. No one knows about that yet, not her estranged husband, not her parents, and not even her friend who she has kept it a secret from. Even the fact that she is estranged from her husband is a secret from many. The novel takes the form of a monologue, as Kaberi tells her story to the unborn child. She leaves out very little, if at all. She talks of her home, her doubts about marriage, of life itself.
What I loved in the story are the descriptions. It’s something I try to incorporate even in my writing. To read those descriptions which bring to life not just the setting of the story but also the emotions; that was beautiful. I also liked the character sketch of Kaberi, and how that developed. She doesn’t hide anything from her unborn child, and talks with honesty and warmth. Was it engaging from start to finish? Not for me, no. As much as enjoyed the descriptions, the pace of the novel didn’t stay constant. At times, it dipped.
Some stories read better when you read them the second time. This might be one such.
|Author(s): Jahnavi Barua||Genre: Fiction|
|ISBN/ASIN: 9780143414551||Publisher: Penguin Books|
(© Vinay Leo R. @ A Bookworm’s Musing
2nd August 2017)