Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Book Review: Shadowed Promise & Fighting For Tara by Sunanda Chatterjee {Kindle Unlimited}

Book: Shadowed Promise

Author: Sunanda Chatterjee

Pages: 229

Read via: Kindle Unlimited on my Kindle

Read in: ~3 hours

Plot Summary: Moyna’s cousin panted at the doorway, heavy with child. “Who did this to you?” her father shouted. And Moyna knew that somehow she would be blamed for this unspeakable shame on the family. Her aunt blamed her for all the tragedies, from the death of Moyna’s own parents to the riots in Bombay. But, as her cousin lay dying of stab wounds, Moyna promised to protect the baby.

In a panic, eighteen-year-old Moyna made a hasty decision that would return to haunt her years later. 

Bullied as a child, Sameer wants to make the world a safer place.  He has spurned a cushy career in his father’s law firm for public service. Sameer is drawn to the mysterious Moyna when they meet in Los Angeles. The attraction seems mutual, but Moyna remains cautious and secretive about her past, insulating herself from love to protect others from her unlucky curse.

At the cusp of political victory, Sameer faces increasing gun violence and death threats leading to an FBI investigation. But his greatest challenge comes when a shadow from Moyna’s past threatens to destroy their future.

What hope do they have with the media hungering for a scandal?

Thoughts and Review: We picked up this book via our Kindle Unlimited subscription. I love Kindle Unlimited because it is a low-cost, low-risk way of trying new authors and new genres. So, this book- Shadowed Promise- tells the story of an orphaned girl- Moyna- who builds a life for herself in the US. It starts with the 1992-3 riots in Bombay after the destruction of the Babri Masjid, an event in which Moyna's unwed and highly pregnant cousin- Tania- is killed by the mob. Moyna then makes up her mind to give Tania's son her name and the name of the boy she loved as the father's name. 

Cut to several years later, where Moyna is a successful lawyer and is happily married to the guy she loves. Her husband, Sameer, has political ambitions and being scandal-free is critical for reaching the heights of public office in the US (yes, yes, present election not included). 

What I like about this book is the multiple 'American Dream' type stories that it has- not only Moyna's but also her friends, Lupe (a girl from an ordinary family, raised by a single mom, who also struggles from a genetic illness), Aaron (a scholarship student, who goes on become a successful TV journalist) and, of course, Sameer. The multiple stories in this book are nice as are the characters. 

The only critique I have against this book is that some of the events are way too convenient. I don't want to spoil it, but the unnamed father of Tania's son turns out to be someone very, very predictable and is not very realistic at all. 

This book is a nice read- it is well written, has sweet characters and an overall interesting narrative. 

Rating: 3/5 

Book: Fighting for Tara

Author: Sunanda Chatterjee

Pages: 312

Read via: Kindle Unlimited 

Read in: ~3 hours 

Plot Summary: “I have no use for a baby girl. Get rid of her tonight!” He towered over her as she cringed in fear.
But Hansa, a thirteen-year-old child-bride in rural India, refuses to remain a victim of the oppressive society where a female child is an unwanted burden. Instead of drowning her baby, Hansa escapes from her village with three-month-old Tara.
Hansa soon discovers that life as a teenage mother is fraught with danger. But a single lie opens the door to a promising opportunity far from home.
Just seven years later, Hansa finds herself fighting for Tara’s life once more, this time in an American court, with a woman she calls ‘Mother.’
Will the lie upon which Hansa built her life, defeat its own purpose? How can she succeed when no one believes the truth? 
A story of two mothers, two daughters and a fight to save a child, Fighting for Tara explores the depth of love and motherhood.
Thoughts and Review: This book is part-good and part-utterly bizarre! It tries to tackle multiple social issues like child marriage, female infanticide, prostitution, the unreasonable religious beliefs that stand in the way of saving a life (Jehovah's Witness and their policy on blood transfusion) etc. but does not really do any sensible justice to any of these issues.

The overall narrative makes little or no sense. An illiterate or almost illiterate child bride and mother from rural Rajasthan pretty much learns fluent English and moves to the US, where within one year, she joins a high school and does not get bullied for anything. Why you wonder?! Cos she is the hottest girl anyone has ever seen anywhere! *rolls eyes till head hurts* 

Anyway, the story may have a lot of weird and bizarre events- not really getting into them because they are so weird and they are completely unrealistic and outside of the realm of possibility- but it does have some nice characters. I particularly liked Wolfy, Sheila, Tara and Rani Sahiba. 

Rating: 2.5/5 
This is an average book...the story is a bit of a stretch but it is worth reading only for the characters!   

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