13 December, 2015

#BookReview :: Her Resurrection by Soumyadeep Koley

What is it like to be an unwanted girl-child in India? What is it like to be sexually harassed at a tender age of five? After being tricked and forced into prostitution, can such a woman fight back to emancipate herself from the unyielding shackles of that life, and intermingle with the ‘society?’ Or would she get lost in the sands of time like the ephemeral existence of a sand dune beset by a sandstorm?
So begins Maya’s story in the picturesque countryside of Maharashtra, where she grows up amidst cruelty and domestic violence, being an unwanted girl-child. Yet, like a lonesome beacon beset by sinister wilderness, she pursues her dreams of reaching the stars with her tiny wings. One night, a twist of fate triggers a series of incidents, when she loses everything she had—even her virginity.
Severely traumatized after her father’s death, her mother’s imprisonment, and her own gang-rape, Maya finds herself all alone in the streets of Mumbai, with wolves lurking around for raw flesh. She’s weary, but not wary. She has no sense of the fate that awaits her. What follows, would change her life forever, as also yours, as her heart wrenching, yet inspiring story echoes through time.
Inspired by true stories of survivors and real life events, ‘Her Resurrection’ bravely paints an appalling picture of the society. Heartbreaking, hopeful and immensely healing at the same time, this emotional rollercoaster through dreams, tragedy and triumph is a moving tribute to womankind. Are you ready to embark on a transformational journey with Maya?

When the author approached me for a review of this book, I was not accepting any requests due to the back log on my review copies. But I so wanted to read the book because of its premise. The rate of crimes against women may be at the highest right now, and as a woman myself I find the situation around me quite depressing and demoralizing at times. This book felt like it could offer some hope. And so I accepted it.

Maya has only ever known violence and cruelty in her life. Born into a household where a girl child is unwanted, she hasn’t experienced anything otherwise. But things take a turn for worse when she is left to fend for herself while trying to come to terms with her gang rape, her mother’s imprisonment and her father’s death. But her spirit never diminished, not even when she was dragged into the flesh trade business. Slowly and after a lot of struggle does she free herself enough to reach for the stars!

Before there is any confusion, as the author says, this book is a work of fiction but is inspired by many true events. It may well be the reality of some girl from any part of the world. The book does a great job of depicting the reality of today’s generation as well as gives us some hope to hold on to. The myriad of characters bring in something unique to the story and help create the complete picture of our society. There are people who are victimized, there are people who do despicable things, there are people who are indifferent to everything and everyone except for their own needs and then there are people who still take that extra step to help someone in their hour of need. Maya, our protagonist, obviously stands out the most in this book. As I was reading the book, I felt for her and sympathized with her. But mostly I loved and admired her spirit. She is someone who never gives up no matter what life throws at her and toils on. She is brave, stubborn and strong. She is not only a victim, but also a survivor. Even in her moments of self-doubt, one can feel her strength. In short, she is someone you would want to cheer on.

The emotions captured in this book are beyond words. And the best part was the way the author has delivered Maya’s story. It would have been easy for him to become preachy while narrating. But he kept the story going and letting the plot speak his mind and opinion about it all rather than saying it through a speech or something through the characters. The ending is full of hope, yet I couldn’t help but wonder if it was just the part of fiction or whether it was an actual possibility in the real world. The author has kept his language simple and while that made it easy to read, I did wish for some refinement at times. The flow lagged a bit at a couple of points, where I wish that the continuity was smoother. Other than that I had no issues with this book.

Review Copy received from the Author

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