BOOK REVIEW: A CAGE OF DESIRES

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Author: Shuchi Singh Kalra

Genre: Romance Fiction

Published by: Penguin Books

Number of pages: 216 pages

My Rating: 4/5

MY REVIEW: The author Shuchi Singh Kalra generously provided me with a copy of her book.

The story is realistic in the sense that it reflects the plight of most Indian women today. They are expected to put aside their own thoughts and feelings and follow the wishes of their husbands and in-laws.

Renu is such a woman, a housewife who toils from morning to night taking care of her two children and cranky father-in-law. Her husband Dev, who lives in another city for work purposes, is distant and withdrawn from her.

However, Renu has a secret: she is the bestselling author of erotic novels written under the pen name Maya! Though she has earned a lot of fame and wealth through her novels, she dare not reveal her identity to the world out of fear of offending her husband and father-in-law.

The family takes on a new tenant, a single man named Arjun. Renu finds herself drawn to him and slowly enters into a relationship with him as she is extremely unhappy and lonely.

A lot of changes take place in Renu’s life and in her relationship with both the men, i.e. Arjun and Dev. It transpires that both the men are concealing things from her.

Will Renu finally take on the identity of Maya before the world? Does she find the peace and happiness that she craves?

I recommend “A Cage of Desires” to readers as a modern story that beautifully depicts a woman’s struggle to find her true self.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Shuchi Singh Kalra is a freelance writer and is also the author of two previous novels. She can be followed on Twitter on her handle @shuchikalra

HOW REVIEWING “LOVESTRUCK” BY PRASUPTA ROY GOT ME TROLLED & BULLIED ONLINE!

I decided to post this because I was extremely disgusted with what transpired yesterday and because I do not believe in letting myself be bullied.

Earlier, in this week, I received a copy of the book “Lovestruck” by Prasupta Roy to read and review. I received the copy through a fellow reviewer. I had never heard of the book, “Lovestruck” or the author Prasupta Roy before that.

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When I read the book, there were several points about the book that I disliked. The first one was that the entire book was riddled with bad grammar. So much so, that I was actually cringing in dismay whenever I came across a wrongly composed sentence, which happened ever so often in the story.

Secondly, at one point in the story, the protagonist’s husband asks her for a divorce and informs her that he is getting married to another woman next month. He also tells her that his fiancée wants him to get divorced before he marries again!

Whenever I review a book, I always try to find something positive to write about it. But at the same time, I cannot post a review falsely praising a book.

Accordingly, I posted an honest review stating my opinion on the book. The review was posted on my blog and Goodreads.

A short time after posting the review on Goodreads, I started getting trolled by a “gentleman” named Somnath Mazumdar who accused me of having a personal bias against the author. He also accused me of having entered into a deal for posting such a review and called me a “sick character”.

Excuse me if I sound ignorant, but I had never heard of Prasupta Roy till date. Is she such an eminent author that a rival author will enter into a deal with me for posting a negative review about her book?

Mr. Somnath Mazumdar did not stop trolling me there. He demanded to know my qualifications for reviewing the book and then finally ended by calling me a “fool.”

Again excuse me if I sound ignorant, but is there a certificate or a diploma that one should obtain before reviewing a book? If yes, then kindly let me know.

I will end my post here by simply raising this question: when an author publishes her book and anyone is entitled to read it, is a book reviewer not entitled to post her opinion on the book without getting bullied and trolled online?

BOOK REVIEW: LOVESTRUCK

Book: Lovestruck tempImageForSave

Author: Prasupta Roy

Genre: Romance Fiction

Published by: Half Baked Beans

Number of pages: 130 pages

My Rating: 2.5/5

MY REVIEW: I have received a review copy of “Lovestruck” from the author in exchange for an honest review.

At the outset I would like to apologise for my negative comments on this book as it is not my intention to hurt anyone. But I am merely sharing my thoughts on this story.

The story is littered with various grammatical errors that made me cringe every time I came across them. But the worst grammatical error was “the Pandora’s box”. I do not mean to sound like the grammar police but I have always understood that the article “the” is never used before a proper noun. I was especially unhappy with these errors as the author is supposedly an English teacher.

Coming to the story, Kaatyaani lives in Chennai and is married to Hemant. She used to be a teacher but gave that up when she got married as Hemant didn’t want her “going for a job”.

Hemant comes across as an extremely unpleasant character in the story. Though they are unable to have a child, Hemant refuses to get himself tested for infertility.

Kaatyaani is living an extremely unhappy life when on impulse she accepts a stranger’s friend request on Facebook. She starts to chat with Siddharth, i.e. the stranger over Messenger. Slowly, they grow attached and start to meet. The inevitable happens and they fall in love.

Life takes a turn when Hemant gets a new job in Bangalore. Kaatyaani decides to end her relationship with Siddharth and stay married to Hemant. However, their marriage worsens until Hemant informs her that he is getting married next month!

This took me by surprise as I was not aware that polygamy is legal in India, i.e. can Hemant get married when he is still married to Kaatyaani? Hemant then sends her the divorce document as his fiancée wished that Kaatyaani signs the divorce papers before they marry. Kaatyaani has to simply sign in a few places and send the document back to Hemant and just like that, they are divorced!

After this speedy divorce, Kaatyaani moves back to Chennai and starts working in a school. She tries hard to contact Siddharth but cannot find him. This again sounds strange that she only tries his mobile number but not any kind of social media or e-mail, when it was through Facebook that she met him in the first place!

I will avoid revealing the ending of the book as someone might want to read it. This is merely my opinion on the story and of course a reader might actually enjoy it and have a contrary opinion. A little editing and some research on the Hindu Marriage Act and divorce laws would certainly have helped to make the story better!