While one story explores the love between an elderly couple, the other talks about how obsessive love can get. From a mother child relationship, to falling in love after years, from separation to reunions, Tales to Tell speaks from the heart of not humans alone.
Tales to tell brings together ideas of romance from different perspectives, all bound by the common strand of love.
25 authors and 25 illustrators come together to explore #IdeaofRomance and challenge the cliché in just 1200 words.
Hope you enjoy reading the book as much as we did compiling them!
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I had picked up this book with great expectations even though romance is not my top favourite genre. But I am a person who does enjoy a well plotted love story with something ‘real’ to offer. This book being an initiative taken by a group of bloggers looked promising since most bloggers these days have very original line of thoughts – some daring, some insightful – and often have something new to offer. The added bonus was the fact that the idea was to challenge the clichéd idea of romance with the stories. So you can understand my excitement. My original expectation was well met by a verse by Somak Ghosh at the very beginning of the book.
“An Ordinary Life” by Indira Kanjilal has to be my favourite in the collection. It is indeed an ordinary story that could be the reality for so many women. Yet as Molina reflects back upon her life, the simplicity of it stood out. Her struggles were not expanded upon, but a reader could feel it anyway. Though it did leave me wondering what happened to the zamindar’s son! Aritkik Dutta Chowdhury has spun a story called “Rolling in the Bed” that had me feeling confused about where the storyline was going till the very end and delivered a blow with the last line that left me shocked. “Beyond Borders of Sanctity” by Ankita Ghosh left me with conflicting emotions. “The Beginning” by Proiti Seal Acharya was heartwarming.
“Presents” by Architta Mitra and “The one armed boy & Julia” by Shaoni Sarkar were the two stories that had good potential but missed the mark a bit in the narrative. Also, I really did not like the first story in the book - “Unfinished Business” because for me, personally, there can be no justification to extra-marital affairs. Actually reading the very first story did make me put down the book, but I am glad that I did pick it back up. There are clearly quite a few gems hidden in there. In an anthology, I don’t expect to like every story equally and in this case one of the stories just clashed with my principles. But those things do happen everywhere and so ‘Unfinished Business’ could be someone’s reality too.
The part of the book that stood out to me was its art. Every story has a different two page art dedicated to it. While some of them were pretty average, some of them were really good. I went back to the book later on just to look at the art. My favourites are Arjun Singh’s piece for ‘In the event of death’; Snehadeep Das’s piece for ‘Presents’ and Pracheta Banerjee’s piece for 'Spring Fever'.
Overall, I am glad to have had a chance to experience this book. While it is not an outstanding book, it does dare to tell different kind of stories. You may love them or you may not like some of them – yet you cannot deny that none of them are typical, clichéd and commercialized stories. It is refreshing.
Review Copy received from Bee Books