Tuesday, 22 November 2016

It's not about you by Ratna Vira: a review

The first thing that I felt after seeing Ratna Vira’s latest, It's not about you is that this is going to surpass my expectations. I have a certain affinity toward the color black and since the book is a majority black colored book, it had my attention at first glance. I didn't have to think twice before heading toward the blurb of the book which surely added on to what I felt about book.

According to the blurb- Single mother Samaira juggles her corporate job and Aksh, her teenaged son, even as she defies society, disapproving in-laws and her own family. But when Aksh is found battered and beaten at school, she delves deeper only to discover the murky world of bullying, the secret life of teenagers, and the emotional distance between parents and children. In her pursuit of truth and justice, Samaira ends up challenging the power equations of politics, wealth and influence.
It's not about you is an urgent, contemporary tale that celebrates the persistence of the human spirit to fight against all odds.

I'll continue with what I was mentioning about the cover because this would be one cover that I would be cherishing throughout my life no matter how many books I own. After drooling over the cover when I turned the page and started reading the book there was one thing that I loved and that is the quotes at the beginning of each chapter. Quotes by different famous authors made into one makes this book special. The book starts with the author describing Samaira, what she does and how her life is like. In that very chapter she also mentions how the relationship between Samaira and her son, Aksh is. As you read through, this one chapter gives you a lot that the whole book is dependant upon.

Coming to the characters. One of the good things about the book is the characters and their behaviour. I loved how Samaira’s character has been portrayed in the book along with her children and even her husband. The other characters are also wonderfully etched. One of my favorite characters was maasi ji and trust me on this, you need to read the book to know why do I say so. Each character has a specific role to play. I'll come to the cons of the characters in some time.

Now, the story. I have a lot of things to be said about the story. The story promises to be a very gripping one and knowing about the praises for the author, I had a lot of expectations from the book. The story, to me, was a bit shaky. The point that the author wanted to put forth and the concept was very interesting but I wasn't exactly satisfied with the presentation. There are moments in the book that would stay with you for a long time. While there are moments which you would feel could've been more impactful. The secrets, truths about the relationships are given bare in the book and you might feel that they are real. It might even be something that you dare not speak out loud. Somehow I felt that the focus shifted at places or the author lost track but it didn't disappoint.

The narration was done beautifully and I cannot find a fault in that. The book is a smooth ride and the narration does its best in complementing the story but somewhere down the line, for the target audience, some more quirks would've made this story wonderful. Coming to the cons, I would've loved if some characters were given a bit more highlight. Some, I felt, needed closure while some were not needed. The writer has potential and I felt that a bit more finesse can do wonders. All in all, the book is impactful and can make the readers think. A must read, indeed. I would rate it 4 out of 5.

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