Book Review: E-Squared

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Title: E-Squared

Author: Pam Grout

Page: 163 pages

Plot: Don’t face reality. Create reality! E-Squared could best be described as a lab manual with simple experiments to prove once and for all that reality is malleable, that consciousness trumps matter, and that you shape your life with your mind. Rather than take it on faith, you are invited to conduct nine 48-hour experiments to prove there really is a positive, loving, totally hip force in the universe. Yes, you read that right. It says prove.
The experiments, each of which can be conducted with absolutely no money and very little time expenditure, demonstrate that spiritual principles are as dependable as gravity, as consistent as Newton’s laws of motion. For years, you’ve been hoping and praying that spiritual principles are true. Now, you can know.

Favorite Quote: “It’s right underneath your fingers, baby. That’s all you have to understand—everything is right underneath your fingers.”

Thoughts:  I have always been fascinated by the Law of Attraction. I have read a couple of books about it as well. It is easy to read and admire it but difficult to consciously make an effort to implement it in your approach. Hence I was not so keen on reading this book until my friend insisted me to do so.

What makes this book different from what I have read in the past is the series of exercises that the author asks you to undertake. The exercises are simple and fun. I tried a few easy ones and they really worked.  It definitely takes time to intentionally make it a point to follow these laws but hopefully with practice it will become a part of your lifestyle.

E-Squared aims to tell the readers that 1. There is an invisible energy force or field of infinite possibilities.2.You impact the field and draw from it according to your beliefs and expectations. 3.  You, too, are a field of energy. 4. Whatever you focus on expands.  5.  Your connection to the field provides accurate and unlimited guidance.6. Your thoughts and consciousness impact matter. 7. Your thoughts and consciousness provide the scaffolding for your physical body.8. You are connected to everything and everyone else in the universe.9. The universe is limitless, abundant, and strangely accommodating.

This book if for you if you believe that your thoughts impact what you get in life and are looking for an experience to strengthen your belief. If you are planning to read this book, I would advise you to keep an open mind and try out the exercises. Don’t rush into reading the book. Read one chapter a day; implement the exercise before moving on to the next one.

Keep Believing!

Rating: 4/5

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Dubai Dairies

Hey Wanderers, I took a trip to the beautiful sand cities of Dubai and Abu Dhabi with my family this Feb. I am super late posting this blog since I clicked many images but something went wrong and I have very few images left with me. So I was contemplating whether to post this or not. But then I thought what the hell, I will just share with you guys my experience in the best possible way I can.

I went in early Feb and the weather was perfect. It wasn’t too hot or too cold. It was breezy and warm during the day with a bit of a chill towards the night. The city is so well planned and developed. Every bit of Dubai and especially Abudhabi, speaks royalty. Here are a few snippets from my trip.

These shot were clicked before landing in Dubai. The view of the civilization in between the large spread desert land from the sky was a treat.

The man made Dubai Marina is one of the places to do fun activities in water. At night we took a Dhow cruise which offered a relaxing dinner with authentic Dubai performances, some singing and dancing too.

This is the Jumeirah beach and the ‘Burj Al Arab’ one of the best hotels in the world. The beach was filled with tourist.

The other images are of Burj Khalifa and a store at Dubai mall. Both these places are interlinked. We went “at the top’ of Burj Khalifa and the view from there was amazing. Plus we saw the fountain show that happenes every evening at the Burj Khalifa.

The Dubai mall is a heaven for shopaholics. With so many brands, food joints and activities to do this mall becomes a must visit place while visiting Dubai. Some other place which are a must visit for shopaholics are the Meena Bazar and the Gold Souk.

We also visited the Global Village and the Miracle garden which are a little away from the main city. Global Village is a huge park where all the countries of the world are created and their cultural heritage is displayed. There are sellers inside each country that cell the specialty of their nation.  It is like a mini world tour 😉

The Miracle Garden is a paradise for all the nature lovers. It has thousands of species of flowers planted in various shapes and sizes to create objects. These castles made out of flowers looked like I had stepped into a fairyland.

 

The first image is of Atlantis which is one of the best places to live in Dubai.  The rest are just a few random structures from the Dubai skyline.

How can you visit Dubai and not visit the desert safari? The car ride over the sand dunes and the sunset were the highlights of the safari. The later part of the safari included a camel ride, dinner, fire show and of course belly dancing. This is one of the must dos of a Dubai trip.

These are images from the Dubai museum. This was a part of the city tour we took. The museum has many antiques from the early days of Dubai and a modeled representation of the history and evolution of Dubai. After visiting this museum I was amazed to see the barren land turned into a wonderful city of Dubai just by the will and perseverance.

I love dophins. They are my spirit animal. In Mumbai we don’t get to see dolphins at all. And when I got to see the dolphin and seal show and it made my day. I had a smile on my face throughout. The other image is of the huge aquarium near the entrance of the Dubai mall. It has a variety of aquatic life and it’s so huge that people can actually do shark cage diving there.

These are the images from the Sheikh Zayed Mosque in Abu Dhabi. To enter the mosque one needs to be fully covered.This is one of the prime sites in the city. The architecture and the intricate carving and the inlay work is exuberant.

I visited two theme parks, the IMG world of adventure in Dubai and ofcourse the Ferrari World in Abu Dhabi. I loved Ferrari world and riding on the Formula Rosa was out of this world. It truly gives you the Ferrari experience. I loved the Haunted Hotel in the IMG park. I wanted to visit the newly opened Motiongate, Legoland and Bollywood theme park but we were running short of time.

I regret loosing the images but I cherish the fond memories made in the trip. Dubai you have been amazing, welcoming and full of fun. See you soon!

Book Review: Encounters of a Fat Bride

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Title: Encounters of a Fat Bride

Author: Samah Visaria

Pages: 159 pages

Plot: Madhurima Pandey is twenty-five, single, and gradually coming to terms with the annoying ‘you’re next’ nudges from family and friends. But soon they realize that chances of finding a groom for her are slim-mainly because she’s not. At 93 kilos, she knows she isn’t the ideal weight for marriage, even if her family believes she’s the ideal age.
Despite her reservations, the hunt begins, and so does a spree of rejections until Harsh comes along. Madhu cannot believe that a boy with no obvious flaws has agreed to marry her. Low self-esteem makes her suspect he’s either impotent or a homosexual, but she doesn’t turn down the proposal immediately.
A negligible period of courtship and a hurried engagement follow. But does Madhurima really find her happily-ever-after? Or are there more surprises in store?
Jovial, witty and unapologetically honest, Madhurima Pandey’s story of struggle and survival in the run-up to her D-Day gives you a refreshingly new take on the big fat Indian wedding.

Thoughts: In ‘Encounters of a Fat Bride’ we follow Madurima Pandey, our twenty-five year old protagonist whose family is looking for a groom for her in a typical arrange marriage set up. Madhurima is well educated and independent but not really an “ideal” bride as per the society because she weight 93 kgs. While her friends are having fairytale weddings, she is facing several rejections due to her weight. This causes a serious damage to her self esteem. The story revolves around Madhurima’s struggle to find a groom until the day of her wedding. Even the chapters are titled as a countdown to the wedding.

The book unveils from Madhurima’s perspective. Her sarcasm, anecdotes and take on things add an essence to the story. The flow of the book is seamless and the language is simple. The characters are quite relatable and realistic.  The gamut of arrange marriage and its effects are very well portrayed. I finished reading the entire book in a day. I was eager to find out who and how does Madhurima marry.

The book is a lighthearted, funny read that addresses the issues like body shaming, concept of arrange marriage, dowry, etc in a way that it appeals the reader and also highlights these issue.

Ratings: 4/5

PS: Thank you to the author for giving me a copy of the book for an honest review.

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Unboxing- ‘The Colour Drama’ Fab Bag July’17

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Hey Wanderers, we need bright colours to lift up the mood in this gloomy weather and that’s exactly what the July’ 17 Fab Bag aims at doing.  My Colour Drama July Fab Bag came in a bright pop pink colour on the very first day of the month. I simply loved the bag. The colour is so perfect for the weather.

This month’s bag contained four products:

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  • Sugar it’s a-pout time! Vivid Lipstick – 10 True Oxblood: Rs 599/- The shade of the lipstick was up for choice and I went ahead with this Burgundy Red shade. The lipstick is creamy and spreads evenly on the lips giving it a matte finish. It is highly pigmented and provides great coverage. There are six more shades in this range. I have been flaunting this shade more often than the others ever since I got it. I am definitely going to try the other shades from this range.

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  • Kronokare Hydrate The Hair Shampoo: Rs.165 for 55ml- This is my first time trying this brand. This came with a little brochure of the new shampoo range with a discount of Rs 200/-.    It is a travel size product and I will be carrying it with me this month on my vacation. It is a hydrating hair shampoo with natural extracts of Bergamot, Grapefruit and Orange plus it is silicone and mineral free.  It claims to rejuvenate the lost shine and silky touch.

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  • Just Herbs Herb Enriched Skin Tint: Rs.385/- for 15g– This product is for someone who wants a ‘no make-up’ look.   This skin tint offers UV protection, moisturizes the skin and also provides coverage to some extent.  It is light on the skin, making it a perfect product for daily use and to carry around in your bag.

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  • Tvakh Fruit Enzyme Alcohol Free Toner: Rs.160/- for 50ml- This is an alcohol and sulphate free fruit toner. This is ideally the best part about it. I avoid using toners with alcohol and this one is just perfect for every skin type. It reduces the pores and leaves the skin feeling fresh and hydrated. This is perfect for sensitive skin also since it is a natural product

 

This month’s Fab Bag is thoughtfully curated keeping in mind the necessities of the season. I have no complains and I am very happy with all the products, service and the bag itself.  The total value of the bag is around Rs 1309/-. You can buy it here.

Book Review: The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success

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Title: The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success: A Practical Guide to the Fulfillment of Your Dreams

Author: Deepak Chopra

Page: 115 pages

Plot: This is a book you will cherish for a lifetime, for within is pages are the secrets of making all your dreams come true. Based on natural laws that govern all of creation, this book shatters the myth that success is the result of hard work, exacting plans, or driving ambition.

Instead, Deepak Chopra offers a life-altering perspective on the attainment of success: When we understand our true nature and learn to live in harmony with natural law, a sense of well-being, good health, fulfilling relationships, and material abundance spring forth easily and effortlessly.

Deepak Chopra is the bestselling author of numerous books and audio programs that cover every aspect of mind, body, and spirit. His groundbreaking books blend physics and philosophy, the practical and the spiritual, with dynamic results.

The Seven Laws of Success distills the essence of Chopra’s teachings into seven simple, yet powerful, principles that can easily be applied to create success in all areas of your life. Filled with timeless wisdom and practical steps you can apply right away, this is a book you will want to read and refer to again and again.

Favorite Quote: “The past is history, the future is a mystery, and this moment is a gift. That is why this moment is called ‘the present’.”

Thoughts: This is a pocket sized book which I managed to complete in less than an hour. But actual understanding of every aspect will take much longer. Deepak Chopra offers seven laws of success from a spiritual perspective. One should not seek success only in terms of money and fame but from a self growth and self transformation point of view. He sums up the insights of the secret to the overall success in seven laws:

1.Pure potentiality
2.Giving
3.Cause-Effect (Karma)
4.Least Effort
5.Intention and Desire (Intention & Attention)
6.Detachment
7.Purpose (Dharma)

Each law is explained in a compact manner, sticking to the point and yet offering the understanding of each law. There are simple techniques mentioned in the book on how to implement the laws in our daily life. The writing is flowy yet simple and to the point. After reading this book, I became responsive towards the law of pure potentiality and aware of the fact that everything works in harmony with the universe. I haven’t tried implementing all the laws myself but I do look forward to reading it again and trying to inculcate the learnings from this book in my life.

Rating: 4/5

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Book Review: The Spy

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Title: The Spy

Author: Paulo Coelho

Page: 208 pages

Plot: In his new novel, Paulo Coelho, best-selling author of The Alchemist and Adultery, brings to life one of history’s most enigmatic women: Mata Hari.

HER ONLY CRIME WAS TO BE AN INDEPENDENT WOMAN

When Mata Hari arrived in Paris she was penniless. Within months she was the most celebrated woman in the city.

As a dancer, she shocked and delighted audiences; as a courtesan, she bewitched the era’s richest and most powerful men.

But as paranoia consumed a country at war, Mata Hari’s lifestyle brought her under suspicion. In 1917, she was arrested in her hotel room on the Champs Elysees, and accused of espionage.

Told in Mata Hari’s voice through her final letter, The Spy is the unforgettable story of a woman who dared to defy convention and who paid the ultimate price.

Thoughts:   The Spy is based on the life of Margaretha Zelle, famously known as Mata Hari an exotic dancer who bewitched the most influential men of her time. The book is a historical fiction based during the World War 1.

As a child, Margaretha Zelle was abused by her school principal. She got married to an Indonesian solider and escaped from her home town. Soon she realized that her husband was an abusive man and she tried to put up with it for a few years but after a point she left him and their daughter behind to find solitude in Paris. In Paris she started a life as an exotic oriental dancer and in no time gained popularity amongst the Parisans for both wrong and the right reasons. Soon her lifestyle brought her into suspicion and she was charged of being a double agent and arrested by the French in 1917.

The opening of the book is with a bang on a very crucial note where Mata Hari is being executed by a firing squad and she refuses to wear a mask and faces her death in the eye. Mata Hari is a tale of a woman who dared to defy the conventional norms of the society and had to pay the price for it. There are many books written on Mata Hari but what sets this book apart is the format of the writing. It is written as a letter from Mata Hari to her lawyer and a reply from her lawyer to her. We feel Mata Hari’s pain, enthusiasm, passion, shame, courage, numbness all of it. The author has taken creative leverage and added his own version of fiction to the real story to make the book interesting.

If you like Paulo Coelho’s book and historical fiction do give this book a shot!

Ratings: 3.5/5

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Book Review: Sita: Warrior of Mithila

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Title: Sita: Warrior of Mithila

Author: Amish Tripathi

Plot: India, 3400 BCE.

India is beset with divisions, resentment and poverty. The people hate their rulers. They despise their corrupt and selfish elite. Chaos is just one spark away. Outsiders exploit these divisions. Raavan, the demon king of Lanka, grows increasingly powerful, sinking his fangs deeper into the hapless Sapt Sindhu.

Two powerful tribes, the protectors of the divine land of India, decide that enough is enough. A saviour is needed. They begin their search.

An abandoned baby is found in a field. Protected by a vulture from a pack of murderous wolves. She is adopted by the ruler of Mithila, a powerless kingdom, ignored by all. Nobody believes this child will amount to much. But they are wrong.

For she is no ordinary girl. She is Sita.

Continue the epic journey with Amish’s latest: A thrilling adventure that chronicles the rise of an orphan, who became the prime minister. And then, a Goddess.

This is the second book in the Ram Chandra Series. A sequel that takes you back. Back before the beginning.

Thoughts:   I have read all of Amish Tripathi’s novels. He redefines mythological epics in a way that it interests the youth of today. I have waited ‘TWO YEARS’ for the release of this book and it’s finally here. It was a great opportunity to be present at a book store where the author visited for the promotion of this book. Sita: The Warrior of Mithila is the second installment in the Ramchandra series, Scion of Ikshvaku being the first one.

The book plot needs no introduction. It is inspired from the age old epic Ramayana revisited from Sita’s point of view, giving more power to her and celebrating her as a warrior rather than an obedient wife. The book highlights Sita’s life right from when she was rescued by Queen Sunaina to the time she was abducted by Raavan.

I love reading mythological tales narrated from a female point of view I simply loved the way Sita was portrayed in an unorthodox way. I have always imagined Sita as a damsel in distress until I read this novel where she has a warrior spirit and a will to bring India out of turmoil. The female characters of Queen Sunaina and Samichi are also portrayed as powerful women. The writing flows seamlessly and the manner is mesmerizing.

What makes this series interesting is firstly the fabrication of the epic in a way that it appeals to today’s generation and the fact that each book is narrated from a different point of view. The third book in this series will flow from Raavan’s point of view and I can’t wait to read it. I hope the author doesn’t make us wait this long again.

More power to Sita!!!

Ratings: 5/5

PS: I loved the cover!

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Unboxing- ‘Boho Chic’ Fab Bag June’17

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Hey Wanders, it’s the dawn of monsoon, my favorite season.  Everything seems so fresh and rejuvenated during this time of the year that the fresh vibe just transfers on to me. This month I received my June Fab Bag on the very first day.  When I saw the theme of the bag as ‘Boho Chic’ I was very happy because I am in a very Bohemian phase right now. J

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The bag is beige in color because it is made out of jute, making it a very eco friendly choice. The bag is very sturdy and simple. Not one of my favorites from Fab Bag.  I felt the bag needed a little more spunk maybe some little pattern or even a little tassel would have made it more Boho.

The bag contained four products from brands like Sugar cosmetics,  Bio Bloom, APS Cosmetofood and  Johara. Let’s see them one by one.

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  • Sugar Lash Mob Limitless Mascara – 01 Rs 699 (Full Size) –  I have tried Sugar cosmetics’ nail paints, compact and a lip gloss. I quite liked these products and was pretty excited to try the mascara from them.  This mascara is enriched with vitamins and anti oxidants that claim to enhance the growth of the lashes.  For me this mascara doesn’t add much volume to the lashes. I found it to be a bit dry and clumpy. I don’t use mascara on daily basis. When I do it is for an occasion where I need dramatic lashes and volume which the Sugar mascara fails to offer.  Honestly, there are better mascaras available in other brands in a similar price bracket.

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  • Bio Bloom Foot Cream (Eucalyptus) – Rs 335 for 50 gm sample- Extreme heat in summer and dampness in monsoon tend to damage the skin on the foot. Hence a sunscreen and nourishing foot cream are very important to maintain healthy feet. I received a deluxe sized sample of Bio Bloom Foot Cream. It contains shea butter and other ingredients which moisturize the skin. The smell is very refreshing. I quite like this product and use it every night.

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  • APS Cosmetofood Activated Organic Spring Water: Rs 270 for 50 ml- This is a new brand and a new product category for me. I usually use cleansing milk and a face wash after to get rid of the makeup. This product is basically organic spring water that enriches the skin after removing the makeup. No face wash is required after using this. It comes quite handy while travelling.

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  • Johara Crème Rich Lip Color Sunny Squash – Rs 395 (Full size) – Johara is a brand that uses the handpicked botanical time tested ingredients and creates a product that is pure and real. The shade of the Johara Crème Rich Lip Color was up for choice and I went ahead with the shade ‘Sunny Squash’. It is coral orange in shade and is enriched with Ricin oil and vitamin E which offers the lips hydration and nourishment. The longevity of this lipstick is average. This range of lipsticks is available is 12 shades.

 

The total value of the bag is around Rs 1699/-. You can buy it here.

 

Book Review: The Corner Office

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Title: The Corner Office

Author: Katerina Baker

Page: 180 pages

Plot: Tara Johnson’s sacrifices are about to pay off: a senior executive at thirty-five at a Fortune 500 company, she’s one of the two finalists in line for a Managing Director position. Unfortunately, her rival of fifteen years, the charming, infuriating Richard Boyd, is just as qualified, and unlike her, he’s willing to cross pretty much every line to get what he wants.

Of all the things Tara stored in the attic to make it to the top, it’s her personal life she misses the most. That is, until she starts a steamy affair with sex god Aidan, her direct report. Interoffice relationships with a subordinate can mean the end of a career, and when Richard finds out, it’s the perfect opportunity to take his high-heeled nemesis out, especially since he’s still nursing a grudge against Tara for rejecting him years ago.

But Tara’s increasingly domineering lover has his own dark secrets, endangering more than just her career. As her liaison spirals out of control, salvation will come from the man she always thought she hated, and perhaps the only one to truly understand

Thoughts:  ‘Corner Office’ is a contemporary romance novel revolving mainly around Tara Johnson, a thirty five year old, ambitious senior executive, running for the position of a Managing Director at a Fortune 500 company. She has given it her all, ignored her personal life and relationships to reach where she is. But she is not the only one aspiring to be the Managing Director. Richard Boyd, a fellow senior executive, a rival of Tara’s since fifteen years is ready to give it all to become the MD. He is a charmer and he pretty much gets whoever, whatever he wants with much ease. The rivalry and the constant bickering between Tara and Richard is quite a lot of fun to read. Tara has always been a rule abider until the day Adian, joins her team and she gets into a steamy affair with him. This is against the office policy and the story picks up from here on.

Tara’s character is much likable from the beginning itself. I like her go getter spirit, the way she is focused yet when it comes to her mother she leaves everything behind and attends to her needs, even the tiniest ones and the way she inspires her fellow women employees at Women’s Network. Richard’s character is the one that you will strongly dislike at the beginning but fall in love with towards the end. Adian’s behavior was a bit ambiguous and hence the course of his actions was not justified well. His character seemed to change drastically in a short time. I really didn’t understand why such a strong person like Tara did not put him in his place sooner. Towards the end I really wanted to know who gets the corner office and how. Hopefully there will be sequel.

The story is narrated from Tara’s point of view. The writing is smooth and apart from the romance, the premise also offers a lot of corporate politics, stalking, blackmailing, etc. I quite liked the book. It was a quick read. I wish the author good luck for her book release and I definitely look forward to reading more books from her.

Ratings: 3.5/5

PS: The book releases on 23rd June, 2017.  I would like to thank the author and the publication for sending me the ARC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

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Book Review: A Beautiful, Terrible Thing

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Title: A Beautiful, Terrible Thing: A Memoir of Marriage and Betrayal

Author: Jen Waite

Plot: New York Times bestselling author of Some Girls: My Life in a Harem and Everything You Ever Wanted. What do you do when you discover that the person you’ve built your life around never existed? When “it could never happen to me” does happen to you?

These are the questions facing Jen Waite when she begins to realize that her loving husband–the father of her infant daughter, her best friend, the love of her life–fits the textbook definition of psychopath. In a raw, first-person account, Waite recounts each heartbreaking discovery, every life-destroying lie, and reveals what happens once the dust finally settles on her demolished marriage.

After a disturbing email sparks Waite’s suspicion that her husband is having an affair, she tries to uncover the truth and rebuild trust in her marriage. Instead, she finds more lies, infidelity, and betrayal than she could have imagined. Waite obsessively analyzes her relationship, trying to find a single moment from the last five years that isn’t part of the long-con of lies and manipulation. With a dual-timeline narrative structure, we see Waite’s romance bud, bloom, and wither simultaneously, making the heartbreak and disbelief even more affecting.

Thoughts:   What if after a few years of marriage your partner becomes someone you don’t recognize anymore? The New York Times bestselling author Jen Waite has bravely brought forward account of her fallen marriage. ‘A Beautiful Terrible Thing’ is a marital memoir by the author. Jen an aspiring actress and a waitress had fallen in love with Marco, a perfect man. She married him after and had a baby with him, completing her perfect family. Right after the baby she finds her husband’s behavior getting odd by the day. She suspects that he is having an affair with a much younger girl. Her suspicions come true and she finds out that her husband is cheating on her but that’s not it. With a deeper investigation she discovers that there is more to it. Her husband is a textbook psychopath.

The writing was in a first person narrative. The story is intense and maneuvered between ‘before’; where her husband worships the ground she walks on and ‘after’, where her husband can’t stand to look at her. The book for me was more like a psychological thriller. My heart went out for Jen throughout the book. I think she has made a brave attempt to come forward and write a book about her marital turmoil with an intention to help those who are in such relationships and tend to avoid all the red flags. The psychopathic behavioral tendencies, signs of a psychopath are well explained in the book. The author is real inspiration to many woman who are in a relationship with a psychopath or are trying to rebuilt their lives after a failed marriage.

Ratings: 3.5/5

PS: The book releases on 11th July, 2017 and I would like to thank the author for sending me the ARC via Netgalley.

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