Bound in Love is a collection of short stories written and published by Neil D’silva, and this is his third book. His first book Maya’s New Husband is still in the best sellers list of Amazon and also his second, The Evil Eye and the Charm was one among the top selling. Both these books fall under the Horror genre and ‘Bound in Love’ is his first take on Love presented as collection of short stories.
The stories are ‘coming of age’ kind of love stories, a read that demands you to forget the duets and running around the trees kind and understand how as humans we started abusing the term ‘Love’
First Impression: The cover drapes the genre but plays peek-a-boo with the reader, it doesn’t reveal much of what is inside.
Overall Impression: Few stories were very good and eye-opening, a few were normal and a few below average. I am not sure whether this is the resultant of expectations or having read MNH and Evil Charm. I strongly feel ‘Horror’ is his best take.
My review in short on the stories without spoilers:
1) No Chocolate For You! – I didn’t enjoy the read, the theme and climax were obvious. It covers child abuse.
2) The Shoe that Didn’t Fit – It was a good one, unconventional and unexpected climax. A few flaws and questions pop up while reading, maybe, as a short story it makes enough sense.
3) No Greater Charm – According to me, this is the best story of all eight. I loved reading it.
4) The Other Face of Love – A clichéd story about mother-son relationship, a theme that’s covered enough and I have read similar stories.
5) At the Next Stop – A cute read I would say, it was not narrating a story actually. It felt different at the end. Not really impressive.
6) New Wine, Old Bottle – The 2nd best story of the collection
7) The Lion and the Queen – This was the cherry on cake kind. The ‘Wow’ factor of the whole book. A very well-written story with thumping emotions and raw factors hitting the reader’s brain. Though a few scenes lead to the obvious next, this is the best of the lot.
The other three short stories following these are already published through other means.
What did I love about the book? – Vocabulary – I felt Neil has hand-picked words to bring out the right emotion. Thankfully, kindle helped me with the meaning. I have them all marked, few words were rich and added the right flavor to story without a need to beat around the bush. It pushes the bar a step above his first two novels.
Ratings: 3.75 / 5 Wow factor: 1) the stories are beyond love – It has more depth than any other recent love stories. It is not warm but raw. 2) Few stories have amusing theme
Frown factor: 1) Few stories were a drag, could have been short and I felt 1 or 2 didn’t convey much. 2) Few idioms and phrases were difficult to comprehend, some prefixing details would have been a better shot. I pinged the Author to get the details, not sure how many are blessed enough alike. 3) I felt a few words were beyond the level of generic readers to understand, could have been simplified.
My opinion: A travel companion, a good vocabulary ride, entertaining themes like Kingdom, Cinema and Circus Company to read. Don’t give it a miss.
Thoughts: I would like to hear from a reader who didn’t read his first two books. I think my review is biased based on my reads of his previous work.
To The Author: I expect more ‘horror’ and ‘thrillers’ from you. Theme choices were good, definitely not your best book, but yes good for a reader’s shelf. MNH will always be my favorite.