** I have received a review copy of this book. Thank you Writers Melon and Readomania**
Aruna, a young divorcee, marries Bhuvan, an averagely successful young man. Both make promises of ever after with preconceived expectations—hers, freedom from a judgmental society and validation of herself and his, unconditional love and partnership.
Despite their best intentions, life plays rogue.
On the one hand, Aruna’s learned conditioning, developed as a result of her past, keeps coming in the way of their married normalcy and on the other, Bhuvan cannot fathom the signs of her distress.
Their good intentions are tried at every step until the day when Aruna’s past revisits her. Bhuvan’s silences, Aruna’s distrust and the resurrection of her troublesome past lead to a downward spiral in their life that shakes Aruna to the core.
As she stands on the precipice of a second failed marriage, Aruna tries one last time to take control of her life, something she had willingly surrendered last time.
Does she succeed in saving her marriage? Or is she held back by her own apprehensions, choosing to stay victim?
What I was most mesmerised about this book was, apart from the characters’ PoVs, there is a limited omnipresent narrative of the Sharma haveli Anwar, giving a bird’s eye view of the Sharma family, especially the woman of the house Uma and her eldest daughter Aruna.
This is a book with no fairy tale, no make-belief, no feel-good elements. It is a blatant truth of a woman’s life. One wrong decision, your life is tainted for good. Marital life can be a bliss or a curse, depends on who you decide to spend with. Aruna’s first marriage was a nightmare, Singh’s style of writing will make you feel that nightmare for yourself.
That anxiety, that fear she bears during her first marriage, is sure to intimidate you against the institution of marriage. But the second marriage will make you realise, that marital life solely depends on your choices, your priorities and your determination and dedication.
I loved the storytelling and the characterisations — an apt depiction of a normal Indian middle-class family trying to make ends meet, fighting for one’s dreams.