I promise you, no spoilers!
Kiran Manral is a master of lexicon and adjectives which she uses generously to turn a mundane matter of fact sentence into a descriptive and visual one! She obviously is experienced in matters of the heart and how they change as do the phases of a person’s life… ‘The humiliating divide between the two matresses’. Self explanatory !
In this case, experiences of the soul too, where the lead character Aisha is an unapologetically real and flawed person, oscillating between normalcy and extremacy while dealing with mental illness and its monsters! She is promising at one time and depressing at others which is probably why she is relatable too! Dont we all allow demons in our heads to take over many a time plunging us into negativity and despair. Life throws so many balls at you..sometimes they hit you in the face making you feel inadequate and depressed!
Aisha obviously had more misses then catches, turning her into a shadow of the woman she once was, the story of many a women’s life. Her helpless reflection into her past and despair at her present forces you to introspect too and find many common instances during the gradual way in which life tends to slip out of your hands. ‘Isnt hate just love flipped over onto it’s back kicking and squealing for attention’, she writes! Yes , it is..and its possible to still love a person after 30 yrs yet not be in love with him/her !!
Her character specific build up is detailed and retrospective allowing us to visualize each one whether it is the central protagonist or the other characters she introduces as the tale progresses.Her admirable command over the language and its vocabulary helps her along in her endeavour. . Some interesting words made it to my favourite list as I shuffled through my hardback dictionary..yes I’m still old school when it comes to books. My kindle languishes uselessly on my bed side table ! Sepulchral,…love it!
It’s a sad scenario when love turns to hate over the years and her husband is equally flawed and selfish, a shadow of the man he used to be too. Was it circumstances or inate nature that contributed to the progressive disintegration of their marriage, where genuine love and a concerned will to help her deal with a demonic, manic disposition brought on by mental illness that threatens to tear up the family, ultimately turns into exhaustion, disgust, repulsion , exasperation and indifference as spirits die and self preservation comes into play.
Desires, materialistic or bodily, take a back seat for a while or then explode uncontrollably forcing the protagonists to wheel and deal in questionable ways. The plot thickens interestingly and weaves itself like the twists and turns of the roads it travels through.
The vulnerability of the husband and wife with episodes where you feel sorry for them and hate them at the same time for their misdemeanors particularly towards the children speaks volumes for the writer’s ability to get you fully involved emotionally. You find yourself constantly judging and analyzing each character as she uses her exemplary prowess with expression to run a visual film reel as you play out each word, each scene in your mind.
Engaging and gripping throughout it comes to a bit of an abrupt end as you wait impatiently for each piece of the jigsaw puzzle to fall into place!
Insightful and gory interspersed with hopeful, tender moments , it is an eye opener into the distressing life of those suffering from mental disease..a field that needs to be explored further in order to understand and help the victims. Kudos to the writers effort !!
This review was written as part of the #blogchatterbookreview program