I received the book Beyond Secrets by Alka Dimri Saklani as a review copy, courtesy The Writer’s Melon and would like to thank the author and The Writer’s Melon for the same. This book is not a regular boy meets girl love story but it is an eye opener, in how people and relationships have a role to play in our lives.
Noel is a counsellor, risking his career for volunteering in an orphanage.
Nidhi is an engineering student on the surface, but deep down a broken girl in search of some unanswered questions.
Appu is a sweet little orphan, unaware of the cruelties of the world.
Despite being miles apart their stories interweave in “Aashiyana”, the orphanage. Their little journey together changes their lives in ways they never imagined.
One recurring nightmare, one unexpected phone call, one stolen diary, many lies and secrets, and a calling from the past are just the highlights. And when they depart, they are not the same anymore.
They didn’t hurt each other, it was a game of destiny. Will they ever be able to rediscover themselves and more importantly, will their paths ever cross again?
Beyond Secrets is a novel with layers of suspense and different nuances of relationships. And one question that can’t have just one answer – How long does it take for a scar to heal?
Noel lives with his doting parents and twin brother, Sam, in Hyderabad. Though the brothers look alike, but their personalities and behavior are different. Noel is the rebellious one and Sam, the perfect, obedient and sacrificing son. Noel is trained as a counsellor and wants to take up counselling as his career and Sam helps their father in the textile business. Their father has expectations from Noel, but it is their mother who has no expectations from him and showers her unconditional love on him.
Pattu, his best friend and college classmate belongs to Vadodara and tells him about an orphanage, Aashiyana, where his father is one of the trustees. So, when Noel decides he wants to spend six months at an orphanage in Vadodara, his father is furious and tried everything to stop him from going there. But then Noel asks for six months.
Once Noel reaches the orphanage, he meets Simin, the lady who manages the orphanage, Aashiyana. He is assigned his duties and is busy from 6 to 10. It is here he misses his mother and his home. Then he has these flashes which he cannot put a finger to.
Nidhi, an engineering student, lives in Dehradun with her doting parents. Parents, who are so insecure about her, that they tell her to keep away from strangers. She comes to Vadodra for training and also to volunteer at Aashiyana, and hides the latter part from her parents saying that she is going to stay at Sapna, her friend’s house.
When Nidhi reaches Aashiyana to volunteer, it is love at first sight for Noel. But he realizes that she is a cold person who closes at the drop of a pin. He is not sure how to behave with her. Then with his nature, she warms up to him and then their past rises its ugly head.
The book has been written in first person from the point of view of the characters. A page just before the beginning of the chapter tells the reader as to whose point of view is being described. The language is simple English and the flow kept me glued till I read the last page of the book.
The characters have been developed well and are realistic and relatable. Even the little kids in the orphanage who have a little role to play in the story have left an impact on me. Even though there are parts in the book which have been written in the time frame from different characters’ point of view, not once did I feel that it was not in continuation. The descriptions of scenes are such that it was very easy to visualize them.
The part I liked most was that the flash back and all the diary entries are italicized making it easier for the reader to relate to them. Sam’s diary and the revelations has been beautifully depicted.
The book has drama, suspense, and twists and turns till the end. What the kids at the orphanage did not have, made me realize that we have a lot to thank god for. Start the book with one thing other than your cup of coffee or tea- A box of tissues, you are sure to need those.
A must read.
DISCLAIMER: ‘I received a copy from Writersmelon in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.’