Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Book Review ~ Shamsuddin's Grave: The Story of a Homeless

Paperback: 282 pages
Publisher: Partridge India
Language: English
Genre: Contemporary Fiction


Blurb: Latika's wrecked personal front leaves her completely shattered. So when her ailing father reveals his desire to go back home, she doesn't think twice and moves to her hometown. She joins an NGO and comes across a teenager rape victim. Much against her TL, Debjyoti's wish she sets out to trace the girl with Shamsuddin's help. Will she succeed or end up in big trouble? Shamsuddin, a daily labourer, somehow manages to thrive in the city. Meanwhile, flood devastates his house in the village. His family takes refuge in a relative's place where his wife has a tough time resisting to the advances of her brother-in-law. Can Shamsuddin arrange for an accommodation before it is too late? Set in Guwahati amid the backdrop of flood and ethnic turmoil, "Shamsuddin's Grave", is the story of migration towards big cities for a better life.

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Author says: “Acceptance is something that we all yearn for but what if you are not accepted? Will you prove yourself or let the time decide? This is a tale beyond love, betrayal, hope, struggle and self discovery of two people. We all at some point move out to bigger cities for new opportunities with big dreams. Some of us succeed in achieving it too. But are all of us that lucky??”

The author chose Guwahati as it happens to be her home town. This story is presented through two people – Latika, an NGO activist and Shamsuddin, a daily labourer. Two people, two different worlds - amid the backdrop of natural calamity and ethnic violence.

This book is an exercise in self-analysis with the narrative. A sad book that builds a real world, ranging from true friendship, loneliness, misery, abandonment, mistakes in life that can lead to despair and much more.

The captivating sequence of events in a contemporary urban backdrop makes up for an extremely gripping read. The characters are translucently carved. Narrative is short and polished, both sad and cheerful wherever required. This is a beautiful novel in regards to characters, feelings and deals with harsh realities.

An entertaining storyline makes this book a poignant piece of creative writing. The book can be read with ease and the language is pretty simple and clear.

All in all, it is a well structured book which touches the reader and teaches many things. A breezy read as the story flows and keeps you hooked.

The last pages keep you glued as you are curious in wanting to understand the implications of the dark and the mysterious plot.

This book is a classic. Believe you me! A must buy. Totally recommended! Go for it!

Author: Paromita Goswami is an Indian based freelance writer and blogger. She also writes for many travel magazines. She is born in Shillong and spent her growing years in the Northeast before moving to Delhi. "Shamsuddin's Grave" is her debut novel. 

P.S: The book was received as part of Reviewers Programme on The Tales Pensieve.

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