Book Review- Fighting for Tara

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Title:  Fighting for Tara

Author: Sunanda J. Chatterjee

Pages: 310 pages

Plot: “I have no use for a baby girl. Get rid of her tonight!” He towered over her as she cringed in fear.

But Hansa, a thirteen-year-old child-bride in rural India, refuses to remain a victim of the oppressive society where a female child is an unwanted burden. Instead of drowning her baby, Hansa escapes from her village with three-month-old Tara.

Hansa soon discovers that life as a teenage mother is fraught with danger. But a single lie opens the door to a promising opportunity far from home.

Just seven years later, Hansa finds herself fighting for Tara’s life once more, this time in an American court, with a woman she calls ‘Mother.’

Will the lie upon which Hansa built her life, defeat its own purpose? How can she succeed when no one believes the truth?

A story of two mothers, two daughters and a fight to save a child, Fighting for Tara explores the depth of love and motherhood.

Favorite Quote: “What if happiness is a choice?”

This book is about a child bride Hansa, married of to a man thrice here age who dies leaving Hansa and his baby girl at the mercy of his brother Baldev. To protect her baby Tara, Hansa flees away from her hometown Dharni, to start a new life. After facing traumatic experiences, Hansa and Tara end up being adopted by nurturing parents Anne and Liam. The story starts from a small village in Rajasthan and navigates to San Francisco.

It is sad to see that in today’s age where women are hitting new milestones every day, customs like child marriages, female feticides, etc still prevail in our country. The author has done a great job highlighting this issue. I loved the way Hansa’s character was empowered. A strong, willfully determined woman, ready to go lengths to save her daughter. It’s true that motherhood is accompanied by the vigor to shield the child from any danger. The essence of motherhood is captured phenomenally well in both Hansa’s and Anne’s characters.  The story was heartwarming and fast paced. I simply love the books that bring out the female strength and determination and this was definitely one of them. The writing was simple and easy flowing. The book was such a page turner.

I would recommend this book to those who are looking out for a heartwarming story with a strong female protagonist.

Ratings- 5/5

PS: – Thanks to the author for sending a copy of the book for an honest review.

About the Author: Freelance author, blogger, and ex-Indian Air Force physician Sunanda Joshi Chatterjee completed her graduate studies in Los Angeles, where she is a practicing pathologist. While medicine is her profession, writing is her passion. When she’s not at the microscope making diagnoses, she loves to write fiction. Her life experiences have taught her that no matter how different people are, their desires, fears, and challenges remain the same.

Her themes include romantic sagas, family dramas, immigrant experience, women’s issues, medicine, and spirituality. She loves extraordinary love stories and heartwarming tales of duty and passion. Her short stories have appeared in short-story.net and induswomanwriting.com.

She grew up in Bhilai, India, and lives in Arcadia, California with her husband and two wonderful children. In her free time, she paints, reads, sings, goes on long walks, and binge-watches TV crime dramas.


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Book Review: Norwegian Wood

 

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Title:  Norwegian Wood

Author: Haruki Murakami

Pages: 389 pages

Plot: Toru, a quiet and preternaturally serious young college student in Tokyo, is devoted to Naoko, a beautiful and introspective young woman, but their mutual passion is marked by the tragic death of their best friend years before. Toru begins to adapt to campus life and the loneliness and isolation he faces there, but Naoko finds the pressures and responsibilities of life unbearable. As she retreats further into her own world, Toru finds himself reaching out to others and drawn to a fiercely independent and sexually liberated young woman.

A poignant story of one college student’s romantic coming-of-age, Norwegian Wood takes us to that distant place of a young man’s first, hopeless, and heroic love.

Favorite Quote: Letters are just pieces of paper, burn them and what stays in your heart will stay; keep them, and what vanishes will vanish.

I had heard a lot about this book and I finally picked it up. Let me start by telling you that this is one of the most melancholic book I have every read in my life. The story is nothing extraordinary infact it is quite predictable. But what really makes it interesting is the writing. It just flows like poetry.

Toru, is the protagonist and the book is narrated from his point of view. He is a sensitive guy who understands people and sees them for who they really are. But he can’t open up about his personal life to anyone. At times I felt he is not ready to accept his problems himself.  Naoko is a beautiful, fragile, depressed girl, who is trying to recover after witnessing suicide of her childhood boyfriend/ best friend and her elder sister.  She has never been normal ever since. Reiko, wise, broken woman who is scared to step out in the outside world and is happy in her world created at the sanatorium. And finally Midori who has seen more hurt than she deserves at her age. She is a survivor, fiercely independent and outspoken.

The ending was left to interpretation. Spoiler Alert: – I would have assumed that Toru committed suicide too and he is reaching out to Midori to rescue him if it was not for the beginning where the story is narrated by him 20 years from that time. I believe in happy endings and I chose to believe that the cycle of action of committing suicide and people reacting to it by being depressed and committing suicide themselves was finally broken.

The best part about the book is that the experiences and the journey of life that we see from Toru’s view. I would recommend this book to whoever is up for an emotionally traumatic read.

Ratings: 3.5/5

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Book Review: The Other Half Lives

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Title:  The Other Half Lives

Author: Sophie Hannah

Pages: 560 pages

Plot: Ruth Bussey knows what it means to be in the wrong – and to be wronged. She once did something she regrets, and was punished excessively for it. Now Ruth is trying to rebuild her life and has found a love she doesn’t believe she deserves. Aidan Seed is a passionate, intense man who has also been damaged by his past. Desperate to connect with the woman he loves, he confides his secret: he killed a woman called Mary Trelease. Through her shock, Ruth recognizes the name. And when she’s realized why it’s familiar, her fear and revulsion deepen. The Mary Trelease that Ruth knows is very much alive…

Favorite Quote: Make decisions based on hope, not fear.

Let me start by mentioning that Sophie Hannah is a UK based, internationally bestselling writer of psychological crime fiction and now I know why. ‘The other half lives’ is a dark psychological mystery novel filled with jaw dropping suspense.  This book is title ‘The dead lie down’ in the US.

Like the other books from the Spilling CID series, detectives Charlie Zailer and Simon Waterhouse are trying to investigate a murder which may or may not have happened. The story mainly revolves around Ruth Bussey, Adian Seed, Mary Trelease. Ruth is recovering from a setback of the past when she meets Adian Seed a picture-framer and both of them fall in love. Mary Trelease is a painter with her own set of damages. The story is a little confusing at start but its picks up when the police finds out that Mary Trelease is alive. I did feel that the book could be wrapped up in 350 pages.

The narration of the story mainly switches between the third person, Ruth Bussey and Charlie Zailer. The story is very well weaved, narrated and plotted with a strong characterization. I was not able to guess until the end what is going to happen next. The plot clearly highlights the fact that circumstances can move people to state of mental imbalance in an irrevocable way.

I especially liked the choice of the title ‘The other half lives’. I would strongly recommend this book to psychological mystery loves who don’t mind reading big books!

Ratings: 4/5

 

 

Book Review: Metro Diaries -2

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Title:  Metro Diaries -2

Author: Namrata

Pages: 146 pages

Plot: Live life another chance. Laugh a little longer. let go of your past. Hold onto what you love. In short LIVE rather than just exist!

Some told, some untold, some heard and some unheard – this collection of stories will make you look at life in a different light and make you ponder over its definition of it till now

Favorite Quote: People make memories and then reach a phase where memories make people! – Mou Athena

Metro Diaries 2 is a collection of 20 short stories about life. Each story depicts a different perspective of life, leaving you with heartache. With each story I was enforced to introspect life in a special way. These stories left me with a feeling of living more while we have the time to do so, rebounding from the setbacks, putting yourself in others shoes.

The narration is so simple and well written. The flow was gradual, story after story. If I have to pick my favorites, they would definitely be ‘The Keepsake’ which made me believe that good still exists in the world, ‘The Rare Sight’ and ‘A Pinch of Love’ which ensure that there is an upside to everything, we just have to look. But I seriously wished that the book ended with a happier story.

This is the second book by Namrata in the Metro Diaries series. The first one was about love classics. I haven’t read the first book yet, but after reading this one, I am surely going to lay my hands on Metro Diaries.

If you are looking for a quick read that will make you redefine the meaning of life than this one is for you!

Ratings: 4/5

About the Author:  Namrata is A Lost Wanderer who loves travelling the length and breadth of the world. A published author in various anthologies and magazines she enjoys capturing the magic of life in her words. She is forever in pursuit of a new country and a new story.

Contact the Author:

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