I came to know about this book while I was surfing through my Facebook timeline (I follow Fingerprint publishers’ page—one of the best Indian publishers who never publish any poorly written book. All their books are well edited and have a perfect combination of good language and entertainment. To have my book published by them someday is one of my aspirations). I had just finished reading ‘The Kite Runner’ by Khaled Hosseini, my favorite book, and I was beginning to understand what kind of writing (simple yet poetic) constitutes good fiction. When I cast my eyes over the blurb of ‘The Forgotten Daughter’, I felt this was just the kind of book I needed at that time.
As I went through the first few pages, I knew that I had made a good decision. The prose brimmed with beauty, the language was lyrical (just like ‘The Kite Runner’ and another exceptional e-book I was reading simultaneously – ‘Sister of my Heart’ by Chitra Banerjee Divakurani), and the plot seemed intriguing.
To say that Renita D’Silva has managed to maintain that throughout the book would be an understatement. Everything just went from strength to strength. I began to feel for the characters. The characters are painted beautifully by the author, colored by various shades. And, the best part is, she seldom tells us about their traits. She shows them. This makes you feel for the characters much more. The author has religiously followed the show-don’t-tell philosophy all through the book. This method is always supposed to be ideal and yet difficult to achieve, but this shows the talent of the author—she has managed to do it effortlessly. I fell in love with a particular character, who despite not being a central character, was the one throwing daggers of pity in my heart and reducing me to tears—Matt. But I loved Nisha and her confusion, Shilpa and her pain, Devi and her regret—all threads of feelings weaved with exquisite mastery by the author.
Also, the language oozes brilliance. Her similes are dipped in beauty, her metaphors are flavored with uniqueness, and the prose flows like wine. Every aspect of a particular scene is described so well that the reader can feel as if he/she is right there, seeing, hearing, touching, smelling, and tasting the scene along with the character. Along with that, the emotions are portrayed brilliantly. At several places in the book, I ended up succumbing to tears. I have read literary works in the past by Jhumpa Lahiri, Murakami, and Arundhati Roy. I appreciated the wizardry of words, but the emotional factor was missing. But this is where two books stand out for me—The Kite Runner and The Forgotten Daughter. Along with exceptional prose, they tug at your heart too—a rare combination. The Kite Runner was devastating, but The Forgotten Daughter is a close second. Although the emotions are different, they still push you down a pool of tears.
The story is strong too. I could have completed it in a go, but the reason why it took time to complete was this: every page used to throw up several wonderful sentences, bathing me with showers of literary bliss, making me go back to savor it again. Letters make the major part of the narration, adding to the uniqueness factor. The ending is brilliant too, not like an Indian movie where everything falls into place, but it is sufficiently satisfying so as to leave a smile on your face, albeit a teary one. The book will stay with you long after you read it, and I think that’s the factor that differentiates an ordinary book from a great one.
One more thing I think is worth mentioning is this—Renita D’Silva is one of the most kind and down-to-earth people I’ve met in my life. Right from the time I first interacted with her in Twitter (the way she responds to every tweet, every message, and even retweets and shares them) to the way she, without even a trace of hesitation and pride (despite being a traditionally published author of four books), agreed to read the draft of my second book and even finished it within a couple of days. I want to be like her after writing four books myself, keep my humility intact even after success. I think every writer needs to imbibe this elusive trait in them.
5 out of 5 stars to this wonderful book. Looking forward to reading her other books in the future. A MUST READ FOR EVERYONE REMOTELY INTERESTED IN BOOKS.
Buy now: Amazon Link