Sunday, January 1, 2017

Book Review: Shadowed Promise by Sunanda Chatterjee

Greetings People !
I finally read a book by Sunanda Chatterjee. Now I know why everyone loved Fighting for Tara so much. While reading and at the end of the book I was like: Now this is some writing and an Author!

I finished the 500+pages book in less than 24hrs, which is a feat considering my reading speed and distractions. I never had to remind myself to pick up the book. I was unconsciously pulled towards the book, the story is so engrossing.

Get to know a little about the book: Spotlight: Shadowed Promise by Sunanda Chatterjee

Shadowed Promise by Sunanda Chatterjee
Shadowed Promise by Sunanda Chatterjee

Story:
Moyna Sengupta 8yrs old, is the root of destruction according to her Kakima or aunt-uncle who have to clothe,feed and educate their niece when her parents died. Moyna's only friend and a person she can say loves her is Tania her cousin. Tania and Moyna are like sisters and look alike too, except in color. Moyna strives hard to be her best self and is excellent in her academics. She is preparing for her SAT exams and plans to study abroad if she gets a scholarship. Karan Singh her classmate is her only friend but she has been forbidden to meet him by her aunt-uncle. Tania, returns to Mumbai from Delhi when the Mumbai riots break out. She enters heavy with child and crying. Her aunt-uncle are horror stricken to see her in this state, thinking it should have been Moyna instead of Tania in that condition. But Tania doesnt tell anyone who the father is or how she came to this state. She urges Moyna to study further, get out of this place soon. When Tania, goes into labour, she is stabbed by the angry mob when going to the hospital even though Karan is slayed in the process to safe them. The baby is born but Tania doesnt make it. But before she dies, Tania makes Moyna promise that she will protect the Baby at all cost. In the moment, Moyna promises.

She gets a full scholarship but decides to stay back. Her aunt-uncle blame Moyna for the Riots, the death of Tania and Karan. So she reluctantly leaves to study abroad and put her past behind.
She tries hard to forget the family she never had and about her promises. The thought that she is cursed, is so ingrained in her mind that she builds a wall around herself. Not letting any love, affection, person enter her facade least they die too due to her curse. Still Lupa and Aaron stick to her as the best friends and family.
Sameer is their senior and is drawn to Moyna. But Moyna keeps pushing him away repeatedly. Sameer wants to become a DA and then later run for Mayor, instead of becoming a lawyer and in the process taking over his father's practice.
Their mutual attraction pulls them closer but Moyna is always secretive and cautious. Sameer is at the top of his political game when Moyna's past can destroy everything they have worked for and deserve.
Does Moyna's curse strike again? What will it take this time? A life or a relationship?

What I loved:
Plot, characters, flow, ... everything. The story pulls you into its vortex.
The oppressive feeling of Moyna and her life is evident everywhere. The pathos pours through Sunanda's words. It left a deep depressing feeling in me for couple of days. Now Im fine :), hence wrote the review after letting 2days go by.

The characters are life-like. You hate Kakima, want to shake up and lecture her uncle for siding with Kakima with his silence, love Tania, Lupa( her entire family), Aaron(pat him for standing by Lupa), Sameer(kick him sometimes for being a Male ! ;) ), Sameer's parents, Jeff, Priya(the snotty sister :) ), etc.

The descriptions of riots or the gardens of the University are vivid. They imprint on your mind. You want to scream at the bloodshed, punch the bikers at the bar, sob when 26/11 happened, console Moyna and Sameer when she is in labor, hug Moyna when she cant love her daughter for fear of the curse, etc.

The flow of the story is consistent, never a dull moment. The language is very good. Nothing fancy just simple words emanating feelings.

The healing and relief Moyna receives from people who truly love her.
The concept that what you place your trust and faith in, can overcome anything in life is beautifully explained. Also how Moyna clings to it for dear life may it be the pendants Lupa gives or the theory that Lucy loves her.

What I wanted more:
I am more observant and particular when choosing my words when pointing fault or talking to my son or family members. Some words can harm and some can heal. Thanks to Sunanda for driving home the point.

Hope to read more of your writings Sunanda. All the best in all your en-devours :)
Thank you The Book Club for bringing such rich books to us :)

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