Full Circle– Love in Old Age (A Review for The Book Club)

 

Full Circle 
by 
Yamini Vijendran
 
 This novella comes as a part of the blog tour by The Book Club. The  reason I decided to read this book was that it focusses on the love story of a senior citizen. Not many Indian stories delve into romance genre with a grandmother and a grandfather. But this story does treat you to that love.
The Synopsis

Outwardly, Malini is a contented, sixty-something grandmother with a loving family and everything a person could wish for. But Malini has lived her entire life with a secret confined to the deepest recesses of her heart.

Haunted by the past, she travels to Kumbakonam, her native town, which she had left years ago. There, she comes face-to-face with her long-lost love.

After forty years, will Malini be able to reclaim her own life, when love comes knocking at her door once again?

The book shows two part of Malini’s story–one when she was young and decided to forgo her dreams and one when she’s old and has decided to search for the lost dreams again. But more than that the book shows a family who’s ready to appreciate Malini for all the years she has given them as a mother, mother-in-law and grandmother, and support her in that search for a dream. How wonderful it would be if everyone could be like that!
 

What I Liked

1)   Subject of the story– The marriage of elderly or their search for companion is one of the most overlooked area in Indian society. There still are places where second marriage of the young ones is considered wrong, leave apart the elders.

2)  Old Age Home– I liked the way the old age home is shown as a happy place rather than a desolate hell. It is shown as the place where the dreams reconcile with the age rather than  “orphanages with evil matrons”.

What Irked me

1)  Head-hopping telling style of the story– Why, oh why didn’t author followed only one or two character’s mind? Why did she introduce her to the viewpoint of the granddaughter and daughter-in-law? I can see the impact only single (or may be two) POVs could have made in the story. There is so much potential there, but then sometimes we get lost in this head-hopping.

2)  First Chapter- The first chapter of the novel is quite slow and boring. It felt as if writer has tried to tell us all the history so that we don’t feel lost in the story. She had told everything that’s necessary to know about the present situation of Malini. However necessary, it still was telling. It didn’t pull me into the story.

 

Overall Opinion

Don’t be fooled by the slow first chapter. This little novella will give you some interesting insight and some beautiful romantic moments of the past to live in. Absolutely and totally worth a read.

Buy @
 
Meet the Author

 

Yamini Vijendran (@saimini) is the author of ‘Full Circle’, a romance novella published by Indireads. After being a Software Professional for 7 years, Yamini has been freelancing from home for the past 3 years. She loves to dabble in fiction and romance and drama are her favorite genres. Her short stories have been published in ‘Love Stories That Touched My Heart’, an Anthology published by Penguin India, New Asian Writing and Six Sentences. Yamini also likes to pen poems when inspiration strikes, and her poetry has been published in The Indian Review, Contemporary Literary Review of India and ‘A World Rediscovered’ a poetry Anthology by Cyberwit Publications. Yamini draws material for her stories and poems from the world around her. When she is not converting her experiences to stories or poems, Yamini reads, plays with her toddler, and fools around her laboratory, that is, the kitchen.

You can stalk Yamini Vijendran @


                  

 

 

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Against All Rules– A Book Club book review

Against All Rules
By 
Summerita Rhayne
There are times in life when after a tiring day one wants to sit back with  a cup of coffee in one hand and a book in other. At that time, I don’t want to delve in a different world or difficult character. I just want to enjoy the warmth of a simple romance with the hot coffee. That’s where I’ll place this book. It doesn’t have bells and whistles, but it’s a simple plain romance.
 The Blurb

 The efficient PA out of her depth… Samara knows getting attracted to Tahir is like asking for trouble. Not only is he her boss but he’s got divorced recently and has sworn off any commitment. Short term is not on her list but temptation has never been stronger. The man who doesn’t have faith in rainbows anymore… Tahir doesn’t believe in enforcing a code of conduct he cannot follow. But Samara might just make him make an exception! An affair at the office might seem a solution to his troubles but how can he avoid treading uncharted territory…? Against All Rules when fire is set, it’s hard to avoid the blaze

 
Buy @
 
What I liked
1) Romance: As I said above, it’s perfect for unwinding yourself. It’ll make you smile at some parts, make you feel frustrated at some parts. The romance is and attraction between both the characters is woven nicely.
2) Short length: It’s not a long story. I finished it in one sitting, but then my reading speed is quite fast. But I can promise you that it’s not more than four sitting book.
What I disliked
1) Absence of Plot: This might feel like contradicting myself, but it’s not so. See even a simple romance in my view should have a journey for its character. Here the story felt as if author missed the beginning and started the story from the middle. It captures the romance and growing attractions beautifully, but then it doesn’t elaborate on Samara’s growth as a character. She’s confused in the beginning and she’s confused till the end.
2) Repetition: There are many words and ideas which are repeated throughout the story. Even the name of the dessert “ras malai” is repeated twice and that made me laugh.
3) Unbelievable Reactions: The characters, after having unprotected sex, thinks about the baby first rather than STD. I mean I waited for either of them to raise this question, but they didn’t. They argued about marriage; they discussed the possibility of child, but medical reasons don’t even cross their minds.
Although I don’t think that is truly the fault of author. That is the fault of our culture. Here people check bank balance, education and caste before marriage (and sex too), but they never think about health or other disease.
Final Thoughts
I know my review is harsh, but the book was not that bad. In fact it was an average book for an average night after office. It’s just that I like to talk about every aspect of the book. So, in case you’re thinking of relaxing with tired mind, go for this book.
Meet the Author
Summerita Rhayne loves to write sensual and emotional romance. There’s no knowing when some quirky – or sometimes even not so quirky – happening in daily life might trigger her right brain and then she’s off craving a new story. She loves writing characters who learn and grow and find their way out of their troubles and emotional hang-ups. Hot, sensual heroes and sassy but sweet heroines mostly fit the bill in her stories. She also believes that a touch of humor never goes amiss in a book.She divides her time between family, job and writing – and loves winding down with music, movies and the internet!
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Tikuli’s Collection of Chaos– A Book Club Poetry Review

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Blurb:

(From the foreword by Kris Saknussemm) As with all the poets I most admire, words are living things for Tikuli. But as you will come to discover, they are never deployed for their own sake. She uses them to tell stories. The images, scenes, characters and fragments of visionary empathy that you will find in this book are all rooted in her native India-and yet they reach out far beyond national and cultural boundaries. They do so because they have an interior cohesion of spirit.

Her subjects are often the dispossessed, the lost…the abused. There are undercurrents of sorrow and anger. And yet love shines through, even when it seems to be fading away. Above all, there’s a powerful sense of hope at work-a conviction in the redemptive strength of poetry.

Buy this book from:

Amazon/Flipkart/Book Depository

My Thoughts

By now, you must be aware about my love for poetry. I might miss a novel, but I never leave a chance to read the poetry.  When I came across this book, I was interested in it by the cover of the book (it’s so pretty!) and the title. Anybody who can write about chaos deserves a chance as per me. So, I sat with this book, moving its virtual pages, visiting the stark reality of the emotions poet has captured in those pages. The first thing that stood out for me was that none of the poem in the book has titles. It feels as if the poet didn’t want to burden these poems with the few titles. For me, it worked as it kept the mystery of the coming poem intact.

What I liked: 
The subject: These poems talk about the themes like child abuse, those mad women seen on the street, war victims, a mob-stoned woman etc. It’s not easy to do justice to such subjects especially in poetry, but those poem don’t hesitate in expressing themselves.
Raw Emotions: The poetry captures the rawness of the emotions quite well. It pulled me into the verses and made me see those scenes through the poet’s eyes.
One of my favorite poem was about adultery(I just am crazy to like this topic.) Read the following verse and see if you cannot see the scene with your eyes:
I catch your fragrance
each time he twirls
a glass of wine sensuously
and raises it to his lips.
You are there in the smile
that starts at his mouth
and twinkles in his eyes

You are there in the mirror
he uses to take a last glance
before leaving the house
and in the first rays
of the morning sun
that caress his body
as he sleeps

Often I wonder—if
the nights we spend together
match the magic of those
he spends with you—if
the fire of his passion
kindles you and sends
sparks of love into the air?
I can see how he made love
to you in his controlling way—
he tries that with me
I feel his passion
his readiness to devour
my ample form—
I feel it reaching a crescendo

And then diminish
as his craving grows—
his need for your passion
for your body
as I lie next to him
consumed in my turn by
his memories of you

What I disliked 
Repetition of ideas: This is a very common problem when we’re working on short poetry. The book has many poems on silence and conversations. I agree with the poet on these two being the most versatile subjects, meaning that both these things can mean so much, yet nothing; but after three-four poems, it started feeling repetitive to me.
Abrupt Last Line: Poetry is such a subjective thing. Each person sees different things in poems. To me, the poems felt ending abruptly. As in they started very nicely, weaving up the emotions, lining up the scene, and then out of blue, they’ll end.
Last but not the least: I feel the price of the book is too high. Although I got a complementary soft copy, I don’t think people are ready to spend somewhere around Rs 1000 for poetry.

About the Author:

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Brought up in Delhi in a family of liberal educationists Tikuli is a mother of two sons. She is also a blogger and author. Some

of her short stories and poems have appeared in print and in online journals and literary magazines including Le Zaparougue, MiCROW 8, Troubadour21, The Smoking Book (Poets Wear Prada Press, US), The Enchanting Verses Literary Review, Mnemosyne Literary Journal, Women’s Web. Some of her print publications include poems in Guntur National Poetry Festival Anthology and much acclaimed Chicken Soup For The Indian Romantic Soul(Westland). Her work has also been featured on websites related to gender issues and child sexual abuse.

She blogs at

Stalk her @ Facebook |Twitter

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