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The Ballad of Ayesha

9789352778959

Dhaka. 2 October 1977. A military coup is thwarted, but the exact sequence of events is shrouded in mystery. Soon after, Ayesha Begum, recovering from the birth of her second child, receives a letter from the air force stating that her husband Joynal Abedin has been sentenced to death, convicted of insurgency. But has the verdict been carried out? If it was, when and where was he executed? If he was indeed hanged, what has happened to his body? Trying to find answers to these questions, Ayesha embarks on a long and arduous quest to search for her husband, reminiscent of Behula’s epic journey in her effort to resurrect her dead husband Lakhinder in the Bengali folktale Manashamangal. Set against the backdrop of a raging famine, political assassinations and coups that took Bangladesh by storm right after its independence in 1971, Anisul Hoque’s The Ballad of Ayesha is as much a story of the newly created nation as it is the story of its people.


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Fall From Grace #BookReview

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36330270

Author : Danielle Steel

Publisher : Pan Macmillan India

Genre : Thriller, Mystery

Source : Publisher

Rating : 3 Stars

Summary : Sydney Wells’s perfect life with her wealthy, devoted husband vanishes when he dies suddenly in an accident. Widowed at forty-nine, she discovers he has failed to include her in his will. With Andrew’s vicious daughters in control of his estate, and no home or money, Sydney finds a job in fashion, despite her own designer daughters’ warnings. Naïve, out of her element, and alone in a world of shady international deals and dishonest people, she is set up by her boss and finds herself faced with criminal prosecution.
What happens when you lose everything? Husband, safety, protection, money, and reputation gone, faced with prison, she must rebuild her own life from the bottom to the top again, with honor, resourcefulness, and dignity. Sydney finds herself, as well as courage and resilience. Taking life by the horns, she revives her own career as a talented designer, from New York to Hong Kong, risking all in an exotic, unfamiliar world. She is determined to forge a new life she can be proud of.


MY REVIEW

As a typical Steel book this has a middle aged woman who finds herself alone and in need of rescuing herself till she is rescued by a man (on the upside he isn’t romantically involved with her so that’s a relief). The character here is Sydney who finds herself alone after her husband’s death with no mention of her in the will because her husband has not changed his will before marrying her. So his daughters kick her out and she finds herself out on the streets, middle aged, out of touch with nothing but her clothes and a holiday home which he gifted to her. Being as naive as she is she gets embroiled with the wrong guy, as is expected from a Steel book, and is lost and needs to be rescued by the people whose advice she ignored.

The thing I will never understand, especially being an Indian where family is a priority and we support and respect our elders (atleast we are supposed to) is why her daughters couldn’t help her out. Both of them are into designing and their mother, Sydney, is perfectly capable of working for/with them. Yet they didn’t move a fingernail to help her out. WHY?


WHAT I LIKED

The portrayal of women as strong people, even if they are naive, they are focussed on their job and their lives and that is wonderful. it is ‘t as if they aren’t interested in men, it is also an aspect but it isn’t the only aspect so it’s very realistic. She also paints a nice picture of the various locales here, especially Hong Kong and the business class there. Ed as a character was absolutely delightful and it is nice to see a diverse character here.


WHAT I DISLIKED

I am bored of the same damn storyline. But there is something cathartic about it because let’s be honest, men tend to screw women over even when they don’t mean to and reading about women rising above it all is inspiring. BUT it felt too unrealistic because things just kept randomly falling into place. Tied up in a neat package because you just have to.


IN CONCLUSION

If you aren’t bored of the same trajectory with a different set of events that result in the same situation then you will enjoy this. If you are looking for a fast read you will enjoy this book.

Available for purchase on Amazon India, Flipkart, Bookdepository and wordery.

 

#CoverReveal – Mauri, Book 2 of Abhaya

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Mauri, the second book of Abhaya collection by Saiswaroopa Iyer is set to release on 9th June 2018 on Amazon Kindle Store. Set in the times of Mahabharata, the books explore lesser known stories of the timeless epic of India from the perspectives of strong female protagonists. The opening Title, Abhaya, was released on Kindle store in November 2015 and has received praise from acclaimed authors and reviewers.

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