The theme of the novel is unusual, specially in the Indian context.
Men wanting to marry women older than themselves aren’t thick upon the ground in India, as yet. For an author to have picked such a theme for his debut novel, speaks of his own comfort with the idea.
The love interest between the main characters was well and convincingly built up. It seemed very logical for such a sequence of events to have led where they did. There was no over the top (read cheesy) drama. Thank God!
It is a contemporary story. The setting, the attitude of the protagonists, the entire socio-economic culture in which the events play themselves out match perfectly.
You can talk with someone for years, everyday, and still, it won’t mean as much as what you can have when you sit in front of someone, not saying a word, yet you feel that person with your heart, you feel like you have known the person for forever…. connections are made with the heart, not the tongue.
~ C. JoyBell C.
There were no traditional parents indulging in unreasonable histrionics, no awful societal pressure nor a single nasty friend/ colleague throwing spanners into the works. Given the theme, these were the usual suspects as the sources of conflict. But the author surprised me.The spanners hurled into the story were fashioned entirely by the protagonists. That was a welcome change.
I also liked the fact that the story was well structured. There was a logical progression with no gaping holes or untidy loose ends leading me up the garden path- and into a snake pit. Gautam is a lovable character. Even when he behaves like a fathead (which he does, often), you are inclined to smile indulgently and pull his ears a bit. You don’t feel like pushing him off a cliff and wait to hear a splash.
The ‘supporting cast’- Rohit, Richa, Sonal and Payal… are consistently drawn as well. In fact, none of the character do anything out of character even once in the book. Their mindscapes were clear as were the roles they were meant to play in Gautam and Roshini’s lives.
To be fully seen by somebody, then, and be loved anyhow – this is a human offering that can border on miraculous.
~ Elizabeth Gilbert
However, there are a couple of things that could be improved.
A more careful attention to the language is needed. While the language remained cohesive through most of the book, there were a few instances where awkward phrasing and typical ‘Indianisms’ intruded. Still, this is a minor irritant. It would probably go unnoticed by most readers.
My contention is with the climax. The timing of Roshni’s jitters was unconvincing. She, being more mature, would be more likely to have thought things through even before accepting Gautam’s proposal. Surely she would not be jumping into the marriage without thinking carefully through the pros and cons? A mature woman would definitely not wait for her friend to show her what was right under her nose all along!
I understand that a conflict was need to bring the story to a climax, but this conflict was not convincing at all!
All in all, an enjoyable read. The brevity of the novel made it a perfect read for a lazy Sunday afternoon.
My rating for the book is 4.0/5.0.
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Disclaimer: Thanks to the author for a review copy of the book in lieu of an honest review. I was not paid or otherwise compensated in any way for this review.