Honestly, I found it difficult to write a review for this book, because it was at the same time both interesting and irritating.
I found it interesting because of all the titbits of fascinating information about the gods and their lives and their scheming that are little known. The author has obviously done a lot of research and there were times where I, a diehard fan of Indian mythology, went, “Oh! Is it? That is something I didn’t know!”
It was irritating because it brings home the fact that nothing has changed through the ages. The gods are as fallible as men. They go about granting boons to anyone who strokes their ego with devotion, without any thought of what chaos and destruction the boon is going to bring about.
Then and now, it seems, physical beauty is more important in the choice of a mate. You have Ganesha with all his qualities, wisdom and powers wooing Riddhi, yet she prefers him as Sumukha . She cannot or does not want to accept him in his half human, half elephant form.
Siddhi, in a past life immolates herself because the one she falls in love with does not return her love and she feels slighted. Does a woman only have a reason to live if someone loves her back?
I feel so terribly sorry for Mandodari. She has been created exclusively to cater to Ravan’s lust and to deflect his thoughts from Parvati. Her entire life is given up to pleasing him and enduring all his philandering in the hope that one day he will belong only to her. We all know how that ended.
The author however does have a great narrative style and her language is impeccable. As you read, the scenes unfold before you and I swear I could almost hear Ganesha sulk when things did not go his way.
So though I prefer her “Pradyumna: Son of Krishna” and “The Secret of God’s son” to Prem Purana, I am rather glad I decided to read this one.
I became a fan of Sunanda Chatterjee when I read her book “Fighting for Tara”, which is a super awesome book. So it was but natural for me to wonder how “Sins of the Father” would compare. And though “Fighting for Tara” will always remain one of my favourite books, this one did not disappoint.
None of her books are just romance. And this one with its suspense and psychological tinge makes for a very interesting read.
Society can be very unforgiving and often children are made to pay for the sins of their parents. But isn’t it also true that the children themselves feel the need to pay for their parents crimes? What happens when as a young child you are exposed to the fact that your father is not the hero you think he is? How do you react when his actions have caused you tremendous pain? A lot of times the children feel that in some way it is their fault as well. They carry the burden of what their parents did for a long time indeed.
Sunanda brings this out beautifully in the way the characters interact with each other in the book. I firmly believe that no book is based on just one person. Every good story is a blend of all the characters, the main ones and the supporting ones. Sunanda has managed to weave in all her characters into the fabric of her story and that is what makes it such a delight to read.
“Sins of the Father” is the first book in the Wellington Estates series. I am really impatient to read the next in the series, “Old money”
About the author
This is Rubina Ramesh’s third book, the second novel, and I must say each one of her books is different. Though she has tried to keep the book light, the underlying idea of the book is one that is really pertinent. Why does society expect a woman to forget her responsibility to her parents once she is married? She isn’t even given a choice, though I believe the question of choice shouldn’t arise at all. It should be a given, that just as a man continues to look after his parents throughout their lives, a woman should also look after her parents in the same way. Her being married or not should not change this. This is something that is non negotiable.
Rubina brings this out really well through the dialogues and the interplay of characters in the story. I loved the way Esha replies when told that her fiancé cannot manage to look after three families, namely themselves, his parents and her parents. She says, “You never asked me if I gave you the permission to look after your parents.”
Besides being a socially responsible book, it also has the right amount of intrigue, the right amount of romance and when you finish reading it, you get that feeling of satisfaction that only a well written book can give you.
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About the author
I have been reading Sundari Venkatraman’s books from the time she had just two books published. And as I read, I marvelled at her growth as a writer. Reading her books feels like meeting an old friend again. They give me a warm comfortable feeling. And Simha International is no exception.
How does she make all her characters so real and so different from the ones in her other books? Her heroine Tasha is strong and feminine. She not only takes decisions which are not easy but takes the responsibility for her own actions. The family dynamics are spot on and the interplay of relationships sets the back drop for the story.
Of course it goes without saying that it is unabashedly romantic and that her love scenes get you warm in all the right places.
One thing that I hate while reading is to find grammatical mistakes, and believe me there are so many published books out there that are full of them. And that is another reason it is a pleasure to read Sundari’s books. Apart from an odd mistake which you would find with great difficulty, the language does not take away from the story.