Friday, 9 December 2016

The Private Life of Mrs Sharma - Ratika Kapur

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A fantastic read by a fresh voice

Indian fiction is an alltime favourite and each time I discover a new voice, it is exciting, thrilling even. This book has been a happy discovery. I found it on the shelf marked new reads at our local library. The inital chapter blew me over and a quick search told me that this book was much talked about and the writer was said to be a promising talent to watch out for.


Although the first chapter suggests otherwise, Mrs Radhika Sharma is a married working woman who reflects a blend of tradition values and modern aspirations. She is unapologetic and it is her strong voice that moves the story forward. However, there comes a point when the personal and the duty collide leading Mrs Sharma to make a tough choice. 

What works:

  • The title is so enticing that it adds to the curiosity factor and the thin volume suggests a tight plot with no meanderings.
  • The monologue that opens the book is so strong and powerful that it had me hooked. The voice is strong, yet is Indian in tone and mentality. 
  • The character of Renuka is so relatable. She is aspirational yet bound by traditions. She represents the modern Indian woman and the plot is reflective of today's generation.

What doesn't:
  • The ending was disappointing. After a mindblowing start, a promising plot, the finale is a bit of a disappointing. The story ends with a abrupt ending which though unexpected is not satiating. It could have ended better.
Overall, a great change from stories that celebrate the poverty and the helplesssness of the Indian middle class. The book is positive, optimistic despite the struggles faced by the protagnist.

A great read.Recommended.

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