I hope it is better late than never. 🙂
Many months ago, Arpita of Scribbles@Arpita provided me a copy of her debut book titled Bound by Life. If I remember it right, she never asked for a review, I am the one who volunteered to give her one.
I read her book for maybe a night or two, that goes to show how good it is actually. 🙂 Yet shame on me, ’cause it took me so long to post this review. (Dearest Appy, I am so sorry. ❤ I hope it is better late than never. :))
Let me now proceed to the book review for Bound by Life. 🙂
What is it about:
Bound by Life is the first book by Arpita Pramanick. It contains ten short stories.
The title story is epistolary. An old man writes a letter to his son before leaving for an old age home. Set in the backdrop of the modern nuclear family, the story contains references to the immigrant experiences of those who came to India from the then East-Pakistan (presently Bangladesh) to escape the wrath of the communal riots post-Indian independence.
One of the stories, I am Mala, has been previously published on the eFiction magazine. I am Mala is the tragic tale of a young woman who becomes the victim of the dogmatic caste system.
The protagonist of The Silent Victim, Deepa, has traumatic past. She just started college and is struggling badly with androphobia. Will she be able overcome her past and lead a normal life?
Arpita delves into the fabric of Indian life – its ethics, values, customs and superstitions. Her characters belong to different walks of life.
From tea-vendors on the pavements of Salt Lake, a leading IT hub in West Bengal (Manorama Tea Stall) to the young village boy performing in a circus in a city (The Last Show) – everyone finds a place in Bound by Life.
The stories are simple tales of day-to-day lives of the common man. It is this simplicity that adds beauty to this collection.
What I Love:
If I am to sum the ten short stories in this book, I would use the word ‘relatable’.
With the diversity of the topics Arpita has delved into, I think every reader can pick a story where he/she can relate.
On my case, the first story titled The Silent Victim appealed to me the most. Because first, I am a lady whose greatest fear is abuse. Like Deepa, I hate it when a man unknown to me gets too close to me too much but like her, I also had my share of traumatic incident once when I was in a bus.
By the way the story was told, with simple yet emotionally powerful words, Arpita was able to make me feel Deepa.
I felt the same heart-tugging effect when I read I am Mala. The story felt so true and so raw.
I love stories who stunned me, stories which I cannot predict the ending, and I am glad I experienced that with Elusive and The Girl with the White Patches.
I also liked Bound by Life. It is sadly moving. While The Mother’s Plight actually reminded me of my favorite author’s, Mitch Albom’s, For One More Day.
As a mystery/crime junkie, Arpita was also able to creep me out with The Vaastu Snake.
What I Don’t Love Much:
With all honesty, The First Step was a bit unclear to me. I got a bit of confuse as I read the story. The Last Show is also my least favorite. Not because it was not written well, it’s because for me it was the least relatable. While Manorama Tea Stall bored me a bit.
Lastly, I noticed a few typo and grammatical errors as I read the book. I believe the book could have been better if it was edited more. 🙂 (I am glad to know that Arpita thought of the same after I read one of her interview-post with Anand.)
Rating: (Good read!)
Bound by Life is available on Amazon for $2.99, and for free download with a KU subscription.
Thanks again, Arpita. 🙂