“The Face At The Window” by Kiran Manral.
The story takes us back in time, to the life of Mrs. McNally, who is at the fag end of her life. Her life has held many secrets and she is wondering whether she should document her life story for her daughter and granddaughter to know the truth after her death. However, she is visited not only by the ghosts of her past but also a very real ghost who brings a twist in the story of her life, one that she never expected.
What I liked:
The story is gripping and pretty scary. It keeps you wondering till the end. Mrs. Mcnally’s character is absolutely real life and you can actually visualise her as an old Anglo-Indian teacher.
Ms. Manral has a way with words and uses them well. One of my favourite parts of the book is the way she describes love, “Was she grown enough to know of the love that tore you apart and patched you together so that you were never quite yourself again, to know that hearts got broken and mended and broken again, to feel the gaps between successive loves rattle with the hollowness that comes from pieces of the heart being scooped out.”
What I didn’t like:
Too many people die. Some of the deaths could have been avoided. Also her ending is a bit abrupt like her other books . You are left with wanting to know more. There are a lot of unanswered questions.
All in all:
A good book. It will keep you gripped till the end and may even scare the faint hearted. Please do not read this book if you are alone at home at night. Ms. Manral has come a long way from her first book, “The Reluctant Detective” There is a marked improvement both in her style of writing and the strength of her characters.
You can read about my interview with Kiran Manral on my blog here.
You can buy the book on Amazon.in through my affiliate link here .
Voyagers Into The Unknown by Ruchira Khanna
The story is about Raj, the owner of a tourist firm who believes he can change the lives of his clients for the better. So he only takes on those clients who have suffered some personal loss or trauma and need emotional healing. It is the story of six people’s journey from pain to living life again. The group is a motley bunch. We have Carl who is a divorced workaholic who realises that money is a cold bed fellow, Ira who is suicidal after her husband leaves her, Darci and Lennard who love each other but can’t get past the trauma in their lives, and Asha who still mourns her dead husband. As the story unfurls, Raj realises that he too is in need of healing.
While the plot is not new, the story is told well enough to hold your attention till the end.
What I liked
The way the characters come alive. Each one of them is different and the author’s understanding of human nature is pretty good. The book talks of the frailty of human nature and deals with the mistakes we make without being judgemental. It speaks of hope and redemption; of finding strength within oneself without talking on a lecturing tone.
What I didn’t like
The book seems to cater to western readers. Things like puri bhaji are described as “spicy potato with gravy and puffed whole wheat bread” and “flowy tunic and pants also known as salwar khameez”. I mean, there are a lot of Indian readers who read in English don’t you think so?
Also, the solutions she offers are very simplistic, very fairy tale like, a sort of “And they all live happily ever after”.
All in all
An enjoyable and comfortable read with a cup of chai. Something you can relate to and mull over for a while.
Ruchira Khanna is a Reiki Master who passes out information about channeling universal energy and conducts sessions . She says she is just another soul trying to make a difference in this life time. Her two other books are, “Choices” and “The adventures of Alex and Angelo”
Disclaimer: I received this book in PDF form from The Book Club in return for an honest and unbiased review.
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