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Sunday, 18 December 2016

Knitted Tales - Book Review

Rubina Ramesh’s debut book is a collection of short stories. Secret in the closet is about reincarnation of the servant girl Chunni who accidentally dies only to be reborn as the daughter of the woman who had killed her. This story is has a dramatic end, in which the woman is found dead exactly in the same circumstances as the girl did. I liked the end but the doctor directly suggesting past life regression in the first meeting itself does not sound credible.

Betrayal is a story from the dead man’s point of view. This story is about how a wife kills her abusive husband and tragically joins him in his death too. I liked the narrative from the dead man’s point of view. I also liked the end.

Chicklets is about racism and inherent good nature of humans, including the children. Set in the US, this story is realistic. I could identify with the girl who doesn’t fit in a given culture and ironically how her differentness turns to be an asset to forge a new friendship.

Lolita again focuses upon the dark secrets behind the glamour world. 

Rubina deals with incestuous relationships in No Regrets. This is a bold story which daringly ventures into an unforgotten romance between cousins.

SuvarnaRekha deals withhonour killing. The little Godmother is about sibling rivarly and how the older sibling has a change of heart. Though the subject is interesting, the opening where Arunee hurls unladylike curses creates confusion. At this point of time she is unaware of the new member in her family. She doesn’t even know that her mother is pregnant. It would have been better if this change in behaviour was reflected post the second child’s birth.

The Missing Staircase is about how a granddaughter meets her dead grandfather on her own death. The Other Woman is about a female activist who helps the wives who have been deserted by their husbands for another woman. In reality she herself is the other woman in someone’s husband’s life. Daddy Hear Me Out articulates the emotions of a young girl who is compelled to study a course which she doesn’t like. Cliff notes is a nice story. The narrator here is the Himalaya. I liked this story for the voice which the author uses.

Though death, afterlife is  a predominant theme of this collection, the author deals with a number of other sensitive topics as well. I give her full marks for the variety of topics she weaves her story around. I also liked the way she experiments with her style of narration. Yes, at places the narrative does sound insipid and amateurish, but read this book to understand how the same story can be told from different perspectives. It will be a learning experience. 

Heart of the Matter now available on amazon 


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  2. Thanks you Mahesh for your honest and detailed review. Means a lot to a debut author to have her book reviewed with such candidness. Thanks :)

    1. Thanks. I have learnt a lot of things from you. All the best.