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Wednesday, 23 April 2014

The Sour Faced Moon by Rohini Lall - A Book Review


The Sour Faced Moon by Rohini Lall

Quoted from the blurb:

Oscillating between the families of Imroz Agha Khan, who resents his prosperous Afghan forefathers and his perennial outsider status in his own homeland and Danielle Anderson, who returns to seek refuge in the truth and dreams she had so abruptly fled from twelve years ago.

A story spanning three generations with malleability of rules as people try to break the bondage they have created all on their own. Rohini Lall s debut novel, The Sour Faced Moon is the saga of intertwining cultures and generations.

It has been quite a while I read this book- The Sour Faced Moon by Rohini Lall, but somehow I could not gather my thoughts on it. Today, finally I decided to pen down what I think of this debut book of the author. The title of the book is catchy and pretty innovative; to start with it can really pique the reader’s interest. However, the cover of the book which is a hazy picture of two beings probably staring at the moon didn't impress me at all. A better job could have been done there.

The story started quite nicely where we know about Zaamir Agha Khan as a kid and his hopes and dreams, but as we proceed to the second chapter we jump generations and know about his grandson Imroz Agha Khan. Slowly many other characters are introduced like Danielle, Bryan, Joshua, Nicholas, etc., but is done is a very confusing and haphazard way. It seems like the author started to weave a story, but went on to leave many threads dangling. I am especially not a fan of stories with too many loose ends  – it leaves me unsatisfied as a reader. From what I read in the book I gather that Danielle had left the valley where the story is set twelve years ago, but no reason for the same is cited. What is her story? What about Bryan and why has she come back with Bryan after twelve years? All these questions were running in the head by the time I was half way through the book and I was hoping that somewhere in the end, the author will satiate my curiosity. But, I was wrong.

The story in the book, just moves on – everyday things are happening, people are contemplating on the past, present and future; thing are just moving on without any concrete direction; everything in the novel evokes a sense sorrow. To add more loose threads in the story there are the characters of Emma – Danielle’s mother, Nicholas, Joshua and Deborah. To me it seemed like 2-3 separate stories were going on together but, I could not fathom their place in the larger picture. It was sort of confusing to say the least. Also, how the title of the novel fits in the book I don’t understand.

I like the author’s writing style – she vividly paints the picture of the things happening in the novel through her writing. However, I do feel that the story should have had a bit more substance. As a reader I don’t like to be told a story with too many loose ends.

I received this book from Lead Start Publishers in exchange for an unbiased review.

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