Author Sundari Venkatraman is well known for her Romance, contemporary fiction. I was thrilled when I read the synopsis of AAFA – it turned out to be a suspense sprayed romance. A just another normal family wakes to a murder in the family. Just when the police pitches in for the investigation, the background of the family reveal and finally, the details of the murder, the murderer and what happens next brings AAFA to far end with a hook for the sequel.
First Impression – Out of all her books, the cover of AAFA is the best. Loved it the very instant and the blurb so intriguing – can one miss this book?
Overall Impression – Am an ardent fan of Mystery and crime thrillers, so it was a bit disappointing to learn that the book falls more on the romance side with a bit touch of suspense in it. For those who have read her previous works will find her magic yet again in this book. It does remind The Madras Affair with the family not doing so well and the sparkling romance.
Anjali – A woman who takes her stand after years together to gain back her originality, to do something of her interest, to unwind the romantic self after years. Captures our hearts for sure!
Arjun – Prince charming is an understatement. A guy who says “Go for it” to her mom when she finds new romance and a relationship worth a try
Jayant Mathur – A mere dead body worth being murdered for reasons that are obvious – Having witnessed a few men alike who thinks a woman’s place is in the kitchen, sure deserves death.
Parth Bhardwaj – An author who gives life to the withering leaf Anjali
What I love about this book? – Loved the language, diction, sparkling romance, spine – chilling conversations when Anjali takes her stand. What would a woman do to hear about the multiple-affairs of her husband? – The way she turns her heart to a stone. When she wants to prove a point for her existence with a work that would give life to her ambition, and makes her feel lived than just survive was extremely well put. The son-mother relationship was good where they even discuss about not-so-discussing types
Frown factors: 1) More of investigation would have added more fuel to the mystery 2) As the number of characters are limited – guessing game takes a back seat where the murderer is identified by the reader yet reads through to know the reason 3) Anjali falls sick with depression after 20 odd years of a marital life that’s not so good – this makes room to ponder why did it take so long? Was she happy in the beginning? Etc.. 4) I would have loved the character Arjun even more if he had been in India and still support his mom rather than being exposed to UK lifestyle, sounds a bit clichéd
I would recommend this book to those who like reading a breezy romance with a bit of mystery, and those who would like to hone their language skills.
The Madras Affair by Sundari Venkatraman, a book that would draw any Chennaite to pick a copy for the title and the author. I received the e-book for review from the book club. Regardless of my love for Madras, Sundari, and TBC, the review presented below is honest indeed.
First Impression: Pretty attractive title and a cover so strong. With a voluptuous woman’s body and a face with eyes so powerful, representing a tale of a woman’s life history. Inviting!
Overall Impression: Spellbound. The smile that I had when I read the first chapter vanished when I finished the second. The lovely story turned to a painful history in a matter of a few pages. The pain inscribed in every word used to describe what Sangita has gone through pricks like a thorn. It shirks the reader. Sundari has ensured to choose the right words to give life to pain. At the end of the second chapter, I started reading the third with a thirst to know how Sangita made it. A feminist or no, the story touches the soul.
What did I love about the book? – With no doubts the Characters. Gautam, the blue-eyed hero is the one that any woman would love to meet. Prince charming and chivalrous, who showers the much deserved love on Sangita, as if, the prayers of readers who got the gist of what she went through in her past were answered. In a matter of a chapter, Sundari injected much hatred towards Sangita’s first husband, which rather delighted the reader to hear the news of demise rather than to land as a shock. Though the subject handled has potential to say it is deep and dark, the author has ensured to leaf-in details like Sangita-Gautam’s conversations that make it a light read which many authors give it a miss.
Wow Factors: 1) Language and choice of words
2) The nativity followed – She takes the reader to 1995 with names like Pankajam being used, and the breeze of words like Idly, Sambar, Upma, and coconut chutney, which marks that it is Madras
3) Beautiful portrayal of what the woman goes through, especially the parts where that Sangita had to agree for a tonsure in the event of her husband’s death and the light thrown at her sexual frustration takes a special mention which most leave unattended. When there are artificial stories and movies that say a woman will lose interest in sex and would dedicate her whole life to help her kids grow, The Madras Affair tears the mask created and calls a spade as a spade
4) Figurative language perfumed when required adding more value to understand the depth of the situation
5) Beautiful dive on the oscillations a woman would go through in unfavorable situations
6) Handling emotions of a kid in want of a father to feel complete have never been this real! Stunning is an understatement.
Frown Factors: 1) A bit on the lengthy side which slows down the pace here and there, though at times a few detailing were eye-catching, there were places that makes a reader skim through than read. Otherwise, a wonderful read!