The last week was fabulous with regard to my reading journey. I happened to read two books after a hiatus which saw me staying away from books more owing to my inertia than due to my present work schedule, which I should say has been relatively relaxed over the past one month. The books that I finished reading were ‘In the light of darkness’ by Radhika Maira Tabrez and ‘Ananya’ by Shilpa Gupta. Social media has a much stronger impact these days and even though at times I hate being drowned in the sea of updates, at several other times, I feel indebted to it for it does a laudable job in introducing me to the astounding talents dwelling in the real world, far away from me, about whom I wouldn’t have had a clue about if not for my presence on the social media.
I have been following Radhika’s works for quite some time now and impressed by them, I decided to buy a copy of her debut novel ‘In the light of darkness’. I downloaded the book on the Kindle app on my tablet and read it during the small breaks I was granted during work. Unlike many other readers, I don’t stay up late reading a book and most of my reading happens during the day time and so also it has become difficult for me to finish a book in one go these days. Neverthless, I should say I finished this book in a matter of few days, reading around 30-50 pages a day.
In one word, the book was riveting.
I believe that books dealing with family bondings deserve particular attention these days, especially in today’s world, where the immaculate bond between family members is witnessing a steadfast decline. The book left me in awe as I finished reading it as rarely had I read a book which stressed the importance of family values as much as this one. I love reading family drama and the one book belonging to that genre which I loved reading was ‘The Green Road’ by Anne Enright. ‘In the light of darkness’ could be considered a close competitor to that book, and trust me, I am not exaggerating when I say this.
The book courses the life of three main characters – Susan, Meera and Matthew as they traverse the chaotic journey called life. Their lives are intertwined with each other and also to other characters that are close to them, whether it is Colonel Bindra, Mrs. Bindra, Suhana, Vidhushi, Maanav or Deena. Matthew is undoubtedly one of my most favourite protagonists of all times. He is chivalrous, understanding, compassionate, caring and down-to-earth, everything one would expect from a good human being. But that doesn’t mean he should be perfect, does it? Well, he is not. Matthew has specks of negative shades too like any individual, to know the details and reasons of which you should read the book.
The other characters are also flawlessly etched. Suhana’s chirpiness and sensibility, Meera’s serenity and subtleness, Vidhushi and Maanav’s intensity of friendship and Colonel Bindra’s sturdiness and composure straddled intricately the reader in me .
A sublime element of togetherness underlies the relationship they share with each other and the incidents and conversations highlighting the same would warm the cockles of any reader’s heart. The author’s choice of words needs particular mention, the amalgamation of which results in the evocative read the book is. The editing is commendable and I couldn’t have asked for a better reading experience. The ‘letter’ which forms the crux of the book is sure to leave you misty-eyed. It is pregnant with nuggets of wisdom and one would wonder how beautiful a mother the author would be in her real life.
The book cover, about which I should have mentioned at the start is compellingly symbolic of the nostalgia one is gripped when one revisits the haven where they resided during their child hood days. Is there someone who wouldn’t cherish a specific nook or corner of their home so much so that they consider it a treasure cove of memories even eons after they have left the place, while turning into mature yet supple adults along the way?
In short, ‘In the light of darkness’ is a celebration of love and oneness. The book, particularly, is a must-read for the present generation who would imbibe much from this book about the worthiness of maintaining good relationship not just with their family members but also with their friends and near ones.
I just finished ‘Ananya’ by Shilpa Gupta, which is a beautiful, heart warming book in itself. I had thought of including a review for ‘Ananya’ as well here, but then, the post has already become lengthy. I shall post it in another post, next time. I find myself lucky to have picked up two good books over a period of one week. I would definitely recommend both these books for the readers out there who would love a soothing read, which would act as the much needed force to ease the knots of struggling relationships which we find ourselves in, thanks to the drastically transforming societal norms, values and practices.
But the book online here – In the light of darkness.
So, what have you read over the weekend? Are you keeping up with your 2016 reading challenge? How far have you come?