This is perhaps the second shortest book I’ve read after Gulabi by Pankaj Suneja. I received it today morning, and here I am, writing a review. I had met the author a few weeks ago, and we had had a healthy discussion about the publishing industry. Since I am busy writing my second book and only reading selected books of my taste, I was in two minds before agreeing to read and review this book. But the fact that the book was short and the author agreed to do a review exchange, I decided to go through with it.
Anyway, back to the book. From the first few paragraphs itself, I got an idea that the author doesn’t belong to the crop of commercial, mindless romance writing authors prevalent in the market nowadays who pay no heed to their language and writing skills. Rashmi has a very good command over the language, and I think she seems to be well read, too, evident from the beautiful, poetic sentences she constructs on a regular basis and the reduced usage of adverbs. Despite that I think the beginning of the book was a bit hurried, too much summarizing, even in the middle of the scenes. Too much telling and very less showing. But once the protagonist reaches Pachmarhi, the narration settles down very well. The pace slows and showing overpowers the telling. The descriptions of the ambiance in the hill station, the flora and fauna is breathtaking. The inner turmoil of the character is also shown expertly and in just enough detail not to bore the reader. The scenes with Shiv Nath Baba have been described with eloquence, and the explanations on spirituality and karma are illuminating. Being a receipt of similar spiritual knowledge myself (but I don’t practice it with diligence which, on the contrary, the author seems to do) I understood the technique of spiritual insight she was referring to. But overall, the dialogues and explanations are well done, indeed.
However, there are a few minor issues. The management jargon the protagonist and his colleagues use a lot might not be legible for all readers. There is a rampant overuse of exclamation marks in narration as well as dialogues which should be avoided. The punctuation was improper in several places, I think, and although the author’s grammar is good enough, one round of proper editing (maybe by an editor) would have ironed out the issues. The ending was very predictable as almost everything falls into place. It could have been made a bit neutral. And the author uses similar words and phrases in successive sentences, which if replaced by a synonym, would have a better impact. Also, she uses ‘third person omniscient’ approach while writing this book, but I would recommend ‘third person limited’ for her next book. The book might become a tad longer, but it makes the reader more acquainted with the characters (as only thoughts of an individual character are shown instead of thoughts of all characters at the same time) and slows down the pace to an appropriate level.
The author might wonder how all these suggestions are coming from someone who has written purple prose for his first book and made innumerable language, narration, and grammar mistakes himself, but I have improved a lot since my first book and its my duty to give an honest assessment based on my current knowledge.
All in all, its a good book on spirituality with a nice, believable story in the background. Unique knowledge on spirituality and karma can be learnt from this book, and I recommend this book to all. If the author works on the minor issues I mentioned above, she can achieve great heights in the literary industry as she is very talented and possesses very good writing skills.
4 stars from my side.