Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Book Review: The Madras Affair by Sundari Venkatraman

The Madras Affair
It was the catchy title of this book that made me check it out on Kindle Unlimited.

But, even before getting over 25% of the book, I was impressed by a very unlikely aspect of it: there were no typos or grammatical errors. I have spotted many mistakes in e-books even by well-known authors, and I wondered if the physical books too had them, or these errors were there only in the e-version, due to some technical issues. Kudos to the publishers, Readomania!

The book made very easy and good reading. The theme is a socially relevant one. Urban or rural, there are many families that give traditional customs precedence over individual comforts and happiness. "What will people say ... " often determines decisions. This book deals with it at different stages.

The story revolves around the life of Sangita. How much ever we are advanced in terms of money, education or technology, there are many 'Sangitas' around. They are trapped by the diktats of family elders who take false pride in adhering to some age-old customs, at the cost of the happiness and well-being of their own daughters or sisters. Some remain trapped for their entire lives; some manage to escape. The author has done well to not only focus on the life of a Sangita, but also give a positive spin to her story, and debunk a few myths.

The plot is well-structured and the story line generally flows well, though I thought at a few places the author could have detailed the scene a bit more, for emphasis. I shall refrain from mentioning those, lest it will be a spoiler.

My rating: 4 of 5 stars