25 February, 2016

#BookReview :: Voices of the Silent Creek by Vikkas Arun Pareek

Shanti is married in a prominent family but her life will never be the same for a life thrusted on her for honour of the family. She accepts her life but will she let the same fate unfold for her younger sister? 

Bhano discovers the horrors of her sister's life. Will she be able bring justice to her sister's life and her sacrifices? 

Arti finds herself strangled with choices. Will she risk her life and her family's life to help Bhano get justice or leave her helpless? 

The story of set in rural India takes us through unimaginable yet common atrocities which a woman faces in today's society. Will they fail to survive? Will they emerge stronger battling the troubles? 

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While crimes against women are an all-time high (at least in my conscious lifetime) a lot of writers are taking up the cause and telling stories in a way that is meant to touch the people. Some tell real life stories and some tell real life stories in form of fiction, but the aim is same – to reach out to the mass. Does this one speak to the reader? Let’s find out.

The plot of the story is set in rural India. The story begins with Shanti – when a proposal comes for her that could elevate her family’s standard in the society, she is promptly married off. Every bride begins a new chapter in her life and Shanti was no different. However the dreams of a naïve girl and reality of Shanti’s life were two extremes. Soon Shanti’s sister Bhano gets entangled in the mess as well. Then there is the case of Arti, a girl who is in love. These three women and their lives take us on a roller coaster of a journey that, well, is not easily forgotten.
The strength of the story lies in the characters. Shanti, Bhano and Arti are three strong characters who pull through the book. Their life and their struggles are so real that it was difficult to just put down the book without knowing how it all ends. Their stories felt entirely plausible and it was impossible to not feel for them knowing that this was somebody’s reality somewhere – the brutality they faced clubbed with the insensitivity that people around them and the society had towards their situation is something that I wish I could say was shocking. But thanks to the recent stories that have come up in the media they weren’t as shocking; we know that they are our reality – a face of our society that nobody acknowledges as a problem.

The idea behind the plot was really promising. From the way I see it, the author had great intentions and his plot had quite a bit of promise as well. This book could have been so much more if only the author had followed through in the execution part of it. The narrative needed a bit of tightening and the book could certainly do with another round at the editor’s table. The too simple language failed to create the response in a reader that the book (and such issues) should have commanded. 

Review Copy received from the Author

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