Nobody’s child by Kanchana Banerjee

WhatsApp Image 2019-09-30 at 16.30.14 (1).jpegI received the book Nobody’s child by Kanchana Banerjee as a review copy from Writer’s melon and am thankful to them for the same. This is the author’s second book and having loved her first one, I really was waiting for this one to come out. And I must tell you, I was not disappointed with her work. I love romance but I read this thriller because of the author.

The blurb:

A young woman is found on the streets of Mumbai, dazed and covered in wounds. Her mind is clearly addled by drugs. She tells a TV journalist that she is the famous singer Asavri Bhattacharya, the winner of the 2016 reality TV show Indian Koel. But as far as the world knows, Asavri died in a car accident soon after her win. Her body was cremated; her death mourned by the whole nation. As news spreads like wildfire, the press and public begin clamouring for answers. How can Asavri be alive? And if this is indeed the real Asavri, then who was cremated three years ago? And who is behind what happened to her? Is it Tanya, the first runner-up who wore the victor’s crown after Asavri was declared dead, or Rudra, Asavri’s ex-husband? Or is it Kamini Devi – the glamorous MP with a sinister plan? Or Avniel, the film journalist who shot to fame by writing Asavri’s biography soon after her death? And why does Asavri keep muttering the name Monty? Who is he? Nobody’s Child Is An Exhilarating And Chilling Story About The Dark Side Of Fame.

The story:

This story is set in Mumbai in 2018, Asavari Bhattacharya, the winner of the Indian Koel , a reality singing contest, thought to have died in a brutal car accident in 2016, is found lying on a footpath in a battered condition, abused and drugged, assumed to be a beggar till she revealed her identity. And that becomes the breaking news.

And now everyone is running.

Avniel, who was once her best friend, a journalist and who became a bestselling author because he had written her story, I’m Nobody’s Child, a bestseller.

Tanya Pratap Singh, who was the runner up in the same singing competition, but had to take Asavari’s role. But Tanya is happy to give up. Her rich mother, Kamini Pratap Singh, an MLA, a party member of Aam Janta Party.

The cops, who had established her identity when she had died, cremated her.

And all the time in the hospital floating between consciousness and unconsciousness, in a state of delirium, she takes the name of one person, Monty. Who is he???

But who did and why? Rudra Chatterjee, her ex-husband because she had spilled the beans on him? Kamini Pratap Singh, who wanted her daughter, Tanya, to win, and not Asavari? Avniel, who wrote a book based on Asavri’s life?

This book is about Asavari, a twenty three year old orphan from Shantipur in West Bengal, who had come to Mumbai in 2016 to participate in a singing contest and what happens next.

My take:

The way the story starts, keeps the reader hooked as to what would happen next. The story moves back and forth between the past and the present and has been told in first person from the point of different characters, Avniel, Kamini, Monty and Asavari. The years have been mentioned and it has beautifully been mentioned as then and now.

The characters have been developed gradually and by the time we are through half of the book, the back stories of most of the characters have already evolved. I wanted to know a little bit more about Avniel and Monty and how they were what they were. The fast paced plot is gripping and the story revolves around reality shows, media, politics, personal motives, revenge, drugs, sexual abuse and much more.  The story has been narrated beautifully and scenes could be visualised easily. The language is simple. But there is violence and some parts are difficult to handle.

The layers are removed one after the other and as the layers come off, the reader gets more and more involved, so much so, that I just could not keep the book down, because I really wanted to find as to who was the person behind all this. And I felt I was on a roller coaster with all the twists and turns in the story.

The Epilogue of the book left me wanting for a little bit more.

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of the book from WRITER’S MELON in return for my honest review. I have NOT received any monetary compensation for the same.

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The God War by Kabeer Ess Kay

59dd1761-d41e-4ec0-956e-61edaf651f2c.jpgI received the book The God War by Kabeer Ess Kay as a review copy from Author’s Channel and I am thankful to them for the same.

The blurb:

This is a story of a common folk who observes the world minutely around him as he grows. He sees conflicts in the society in the name of different Gods. As a pediatric doctor in the labour room attending to new-borns he sees them pop out of their mother’s wombs innocent and un-initiated into any religion. Soon they are stamped with a divine tag and a distinct faith. They learn to have an exalted view of their own faith as they denigrate the others.

It is sheer serendipity that the lead man finds himself amidst happenings that go to form this story. The dissensions go from squabbles and scuffles to acts of terrorism. A holy shrine is attacked by the armed forces to flush out the nefarious elements spreading terror. The masses are furious as their sanctum sanctorum has been violated. The empress of the land is killed in anger and resentment. It leads to mayhem. Many innocents have to endure torture and gruesome death. This is cruel, pitiless and heart rending.

There are some unforeseen unfortunate incidents that go to complete the narrative.

The story:

Set in 1984, this book the story of Dr Chander Mohan, a native of Amritsar, who has been working as a doctor in a hospital in Delhi for the last five years. It is October 31, 1984, the Empress has been assassinated by her bodyguards and riots have started. Chander visits home on his 30th birthday and his mother tells him that his neighbour, Bittoo is also a victim of the riots.

And thus starts the flashback, right from when Chander was a child who lived near the Golden Temple in Amritsar, till the present day.

My take:

In the introduction, the author mentions that there are conflicts in the society because of different faiths. They are different as they are born in different faiths and by default, they are what they are. They have faith tagged on them as they are born in families living with those faiths.

Written in first person from Chander’s point of view, the story traces the life and experiences of Chander Mohan right from his childhood, school days, college days  to the present day. The author has described in detail the history of various religions and the customs, traditions and taboos associated with them.

The language is simple and the narrative is very realistic, it is as if Chander is siting and telling us a story.  And the best part is that the names of some places and characters have not been mentioned and terms like, head of the cow, underbelly, Empress have been used, but it was easy to identify people and places. The descriptions are detailed and I could picturise many scenes as some of them reminded me of my childhood.

Overall, an interesting book which tells the reader a lot about religions, places and people. The glossary at the end of the book gives the reader an idea of the facts in the book.

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of the book from Authors Channel in return for my honest review. I have NOT received any monetary compensation for the same.

 

 

Time and Chance by V A Mohta

41Vc2rx+IDL._SX332_BO1,204,203,200_.jpgI received the book Time and Chance by V A Mohta as a review copy from the publisher, Rupa Publications, and am thankful to them for the same.

The blurb:

Born of a highly respected Maheshwari family in a small town called Akola, the author’s journey begins in 1933. From his early childhood and recollections of the sprawling household, to losing his father and growing up under the guidance of ‘Kakaji’, this book talks about the significant events in his life, focusing mainly on the crossroads and turning points. Charting his steady rise from a District Court lawyer to the Supreme Court, the narrative is filled with anecdotes that delight and intrigue, such as his interactions with Lord Denning, Nehru, Naushad, Mohammad Rafi and Dilip Kumar. A man who rose to the pinnacle of success through grit and determination, challenging every issue he found wrong or unethical, Justice Mohta has stood steadfast on his chosen path despite numerous obstacles, and many of his achievements are legendary. Lucidly written, it is the record of a fascinating journey that melds experience, ideals, honesty and a great firmness of spirit—hallmarks of a life well lived.

My take:

This book comprises of eminently readable memoirs of Justice (Retd) V.A. Mohta. The author talks about his childhood, his family, especially his father; his education; his professional and social life; his ethics; and then his life as a Judge of the Bombay High Court in April 1979 at the age of 46. Though, later in the book, the author has written mostly about his professional struggles, achievements, colleagues and cases, he has also written about his family, his children, grandchildren and even his dog, Buzo. The author says that humour is very important and is a social lubricant and how a sense of humour can diffuse even explosive situations..

The book is full of many interesting anecdotes. He has written about his accidental meeting with Shri Dilip Kumar and his wife Saira Banu and King Kong; his interaction with the eminent lawyers Ram Jethmalani, Motilal Setlevad, A.K. Sen and others and meeting other personalities like Mohammad Rafi, Naushad Ali and Harshad Mehta.

The note at the beginning of the book by his eldest grandson says, “Towards the end of his life he analysed the luck and chance factor that were beyond his control and revisited his storehouse of memories—some cherished, some insignificant, some painful, but most of all, the meaningful ones that gave his life the significance it had.

It is unfortunate that now when the book is finally complete, he is not here to see it. Perhaps this is the playing out of ‘Time and Chance.’ This book is his journey, as he penned it.”

I loved the last chapter of the book, Back to pavilion, most of all. Though there are a lot of legal stories, but the author has written it all in a simple language that was easy to understand. This book is an inspirational book.

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of the book from the publisher in return for my honest review. I have NOT received any monetary compensation for the same.

 

The Magician (The Tarot Trilogy Book 1) by Sonia Rao

TheMagicianI received The Magician (The Tarot Trilogy Book 1) by Sonia Rao as a review copy from the author and am thankful to her for the same.

The blurb:

Fashion designer Sasha Kapoor always felt she’d missed out on love as she had an arranged marriage. And when her husband turns up at their 15th anniversary party with a strange woman, she knows that her marriage is dying. With constant surprises and disasters to contend with, will Sasha ever get a chance at true love?

Shantha is much sought after for her tarot card readings on love, but can’t seem to help her own love life with a string of broken relationships behind her. Now, sparks are flying between her and a sexy bartender but will this relationship fizzle out too?

Young professionals Nilima and her husband are so besotted with each other, they give the word ‘soulmate’ a complex. Theirs is a match made in heaven…till tragedy strikes.
The Magician is a heart-warming story of these three dynamic women as they discover the meaning of true love through loss and longing.

The story:

Sasha Kapoor was right out of college when she got married to the first man her parents chose for her, Ashish Kapoor, an upcoming businessman. Now, 15 years later, the couple is well-to-do, with Ashish in real estate business and Sasha is a fashion designer and a boutique owner and they have a nine year old daughter, Nikita.

Sasha’s best friend, Shantha, is a tarot card reader. She is single as till now, nothing serious had developed with the people she has dated and she cannot pinpoint the reasons for her break-ups. And, on the night of Sasha’s anniversary party, she meets Danny.

Newly married, Nilima and Rohit work for a multinational company and are Sasha’s neighbours. They have a lot of respect for her and Rohit considers her his fairy godmother.

My take:

The cover is beautiful and the best part of the story is that the author has not mentioned where the story is set and not even once does she waver from it. Though from the descriptions, one can make a guess.

There are three main characters, Sasha, Shantha and Nilima and the story and moves comfortably between the characters and scenes and not once did I feel that, oh where did this come from. The characters are realistic and their emotions have been described in detail. The scenes are detailed, I loved how she sets up the scene for tarot card reading by purifying the cards (I was contemplating looking for some sage and burning it to see how it smells).

The book is fast paced and has everything, arranged marriage, success, friendship, compassion, betrayal, blackmail, loss and tragedy. There is even some humour in the book. Overall, the book makes and excellent read and is such a perfect debut.

Waiting for the next two books of the trilogy.

Disclaimer: I received a free e-copy of the book from the author in return for my honest review. I have NOT received any monetary compensation for the same.

Spotlight: THE MAGICIAN  (The Tarot Trilogy Book 1) by Sonia Rao

 

 
THE MAGICIAN 

(The Tarot Trilogy Book 1)

by 

Sonia Rao


 

Blurb

Fashion designer Sasha Kapoor always felt she’d missed out on love as she had an arranged marriage. And when her husband turns up at their 15th-anniversary party with a strange woman, she knows that her marriage is dying. With constant surprises and disasters to contend with, will Sasha ever get a chance at true love?



Shantha is much sought after for her tarot card readings on love, but can’t seem to help her own love life with a string of broken relationships behind her. Now, sparks are flying between her and a sexy bartender but will this relationship fizzle out too?



Young professionals Nilima and her husband are so besotted with each other, they give the word ‘soulmate’ a complex. Theirs is a match made in heaven…till tragedy strikes.



The Magician is a heart-warming story of these three dynamic women as they discover the meaning of true love through loss and longing.


Thoughts from the Author, Sonia Rao
 

Who is a Magician? If it is a Tarot Card, then it the Major Arcana card in the deck and symbolizes life-changing issues.



 But if it is a person, then it is Sasha, the main protagonist of my novel, The Magician. In this urban, contemporary romance, fashion designer Sasha, who caught within a loveless marriage, now seeks true love. It is also Shantha and Nilima who face their own challenges in love and try to rise above them.



 It is also every woman. This is because, as Shantha says to Sasha in the book, “Imagination is your strength. You have the power to visualize and then manifest what you want. You are the Magician.” Each one of us is The Magician because we hold within ourselves the power to create the life of our dreams.

But how did this cover happen? There is a lovely story behind it. While researching the many tarot decks online, I saw this card on the Attic Shoppe website and I knew at once that this was my “Sasha.”

Go back and have a look at the cover again. Doesn’t it just grip you too? Part practical, part whimsical, part traditional, part digital, this card, like the book, is a labour of love.



The designer, Bethalynne Bajema, created this card for her Black Ibis Tarot card deck.  The love she put in is very evident in the vibe one gets from it. Every time I see it, I am inspired to bring a touch of magic to the everyday routines of mundane life.



Carrying on the serendipity, Bethalynne immediately and graciously agreed to my request to make this card my book cover. Such generosity is hard to come by and I believe it is the Universe’s way of saying “you’re right on track.”  
(Bethalynne can be contacted here: Instagram)


Read an excerpt


Grab your copy @



Amazon.in | Amazon.com | Amazon.co.uk 



About the author



“Sonia Rao is a writer, editor, and award-winning blogger. Her fiction has appeared in many prestigious anthologies such as Voices Old & New and Jest Like That (edited by renowned editor-writer Shinie Anthony).



 As NaNoWriMo’s Municipal Liaison for all-India and founder of the Wrimo India group on Facebook, Sonia has motivated thousands of people in India to write a novel every November since 2011. She has also curated and edited the first Wrimo India Anthology, Vengeance—A Sting In Every Tale.



Sonia likes to believe she is ‘high-minded’ but strangely, her fave hobby is thinking up torture devices for those autorickshawallahs who consider the roads to be their personal spittoon. Who knew?

 

You can stalk her @



Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

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Raising Confident Children by Samir Parikh, Kamna Chhibber and Mimansa Singh Tanwar

51dw2zdhyUL._SY346_.jpgI received the book Raising Confident Children by Samir Parikh, Kamna Chhibber and Mimansa Singh Tanwar as a review copy from the publisher and am thankful to them for the same.

The blurb:

Raising Confident Children, by eminent psychiatrist Dr Samir Parikh, and clinical psychologists Kamna Chhibber and Mimansa Singh Tanwar, is designed to equip parents with the tools that facilitate the development of confidence in children. It focuses on aspects like understanding your child, communication, problem solving, emotional wellness and, most importantly, knowing the pitfalls that can posit a threat to your approach as a parent. This book presents a systemic plan of 52 weeks to help develop your own skills at parenting and build confidence in your child
through 52 steps.

My take:

Written as a guide that can be implemented in 52 weeks, this book is divided into six sections. Each of the 52 chapters has a specific aspect being a focal point for each week of the years. Different elements integral to developing a child’s confidence are discussed. This book will definitely help parents.

The language is simple and my advice to the parents would be to take one chapter at a time and work on it.

Highly recommended.

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of the book from the publisher in return for my honest review. I have NOT received any monetary compensation for the same.

Quirky tales a collection of three short stories by Sharmishtha Shenoy

51jfEJATD0LI received Quirky tales a collection of three short stories by Sharmishtha Shenoy as a review copy from the author and am thankful to her for the same.

The blurb:

Presenting a collection of three Bohemian short stories.

“The Mills of the Gods” focuses on the mental anguish and the moral dilemmas of Ram Nath Singh, an uneducated driver who kills his girlfriend after she ditches him for an elderly millionaire. “Deadly Desire” is a light-hearted take on the consequences of infidelity and “Life is Beautiful” tells the tale of a strong woman, who fights against all the odds to become a rocksteady mother for her child.

My take:

These three stories, though short, are quite deep. The first story is about a person whose guilt makes him confess, the second story is about a person who is trying to hide the truth and the third story is about a lady who, for the sake of her child, decides to leave the love of her life.

The characters are realistic. The stories are simple, deep, crisp and written in simple, easy to understand language. I loved the book.

Disclaimer: I received a free e-copy of the book from the author in return for my honest review. I have NOT received any monetary compensation for the same.