Water Boarding is not just a romantic story. While the story revolves around love (yes, there is a love triangle), this story is a lot more than just another romance.
The story demonstrates how circumstances and events can hold you immovably captive in their grip, reducing you to a helplessness so acute that you feel as if you were drowning.
[Water Boarding is a form of torture in which water is poured over a cloth covering the face and breathing passages of an immobilized captive, causing the individual to experience the sensation of drowning.]
The story revolves around three characters. All youngsters; all utterly and endearingly confused about what’s important in life or how to reach the things they think are important to them. In other words, all three are on shaky ground where their own emotions are concerned.
The protagonist, Ved, is the most clueless of the three. His emotional tangles, made even more complicated by an accident resulting in a partial memory loss, plunges them all into a sad and dismal world of heartbreak.
Self abandoned, relaxed and effortless, I seemed to have laid me down in the dried-up bed of a great river; I heard a flood loosened in remote mountains, I felt the torrent come; to rise I had no will, to flee I had no strength.
~ Charlotte Brontë
There are times when you want to take Ved aside and shake him until his teeth fall out of his head. To induce such peevishness in the mind of a reader is not an easy task.
Both Sara and Maya come across as damp pushovers initially. Perhaps that impression was deliberately created. As the novel draws to a close, however, just when you expected them to fall apart and dissolve into a puddle, both women are found to have spines of steel.
They both refused to be plunged into the neither-here-nor-there world that Ved seems to have a talent to weave around himself. It seems he is content to live in a limbo, floating in a vat of helpless self-pity. Thankfully, someone up-ends the vat with a firm hand just in time. Phew!
There are times when the story doesn’t hang together logically. The motivations of the characters is weak. It is difficult to imagine the character doing things they are doing. The whole incident where Maya was being stalked sounded contrived, illogical and forced. It made no sense at all.
There are few other inconsistencies that a more careful re-reading might have eliminated. For instance, chapter 11 started with first person narration and went off into third person narration. Also, language use is rather clumsy and uncomfortable. That too could have been improved.And sometimes the people who most need to reach out are the people least capable of it. ~ Jane Espenson Click To Tweet
However, the story makes a strong case for opening up to people who matter to you the most. While you think you are shutting yourself in, your loved ones feel you’ve shut them out. That has only one consequence. They get tired and walk away.
My rating for the book: 3.6/5
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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.