Saturday, 13 October 2018

Book Review: Pyjamas are Forgiving by Twinkle Khanna.

Book: Pyjamas are Forgiving

Author: Twinkle Khanna

Pages: 256

Publisher: Juggernaut Books

Read On: Paperback

How Long it Took Me To Read: 2  days

Plot Summary: There sitting on that porch, that light-eyed man, a pitta like me, was my ex-husband and that woman whose inner element I was unaware of, unless bitch is accepted as an undiscovered fourth dosha, was his young wife.
In the serene sanctuary of Kerala’s Shanthamaaya spa where food is rationed, sex forbidden and emotions centred, Anshu meets someone familiar and deeply unsettling – her ex-husband. Bittersweet, funny and wise.
Things I Liked: 

1. Twinkle Khanna's writing and her own special brand of humour infused in everyday life, people and her astute observations are always fun to read. I really enjoyed her first foray into fiction- The Legend of Laxmiprasad, and knew I wanted to read more from her. This one though sightly more sombre was still full of her witticisms and humour.

2. The setting of an ashram/ spa was pretty genius. I have never read something set in a space like this. Confined spaces and a motley crew of characters is always a good thing be.

3. There are some serious laugh out loud moments in this book, something I've come to associate with Khanna's writing but what I wasn't prepared for was the serious tones and the very sincere and poignant moments that are abundantly present in this book. Khanna has done a great job of bringing to life the angst and heartache of Anshu- her leading lady. We get to see and feel everything Anshu feels, and while thats always painfully real, it never becomes heavy handed or forced down our throats.

4. Anshu- she is real and flawed and painfully human. I liked the way that you'd like a friend who is slipping back into an old, toxic relationship. At several points of the book, I found myself getting angry with her and wanting to reach inside the book and shake her and tell her to have better sense. Do better and make better decisions. Haven't we all been there? Seen a dear friend make the same mistake over and over again. Seen a otherwise sensible woman become a total fool when it came to the matter of the heart?! I know I have. Anshu for this reason, among others, felt like someone I know and love.

5. The one thing that I think Khanna does best is write families. Especially mothers and daughters. This book too has a very interesting and fun set of mother and daughters. It was just fun to read about the this family unit and their shenanigans and interactions were some of the funniest bits in the book.

6. The Ashram and it's inhabitants also made for very interesting reading. There a host of characters, all there for very different reasons and from all walks of life.

7. Toxic Relationships- man, we really need to talk about this more. I was reading this book as the Me Too movement was making ripples in India, so in some way it was a perfect companion to all the conversations women were having online about consent and toxic masculinity and relationships. This book has one such relationship. Anshu and her ex really do not belong together. He is a classic narcissist. And walks all over Anshu and treats her badly, yet makes her feel like they have a good thing going. It was infuriating to see Anshu walk back into his arms and letting herself get treated shoddily. He is a total and utter cad and I guess it upset me so much is because how real this relationship felt. The world is sadly littered with men like this. And it's heartbreaking to see, even a fictional woman being treated this way.

Things I Didn't Like: 

1. I just had a hard time keeping my patience with Anshu. Here was this seemingly sorted woman who runs her own enterprise, she walked away once from her toxic marriage and here we are again, seeing her fall back into the same trap. I get it, maybe it's hard to resist the lure of an old relationships. But it's still frustrating to see her put up with so much bullshit! So much crap that is thrown her way! I kept hoping she would make better decisions and snap out of this spell he manages to cast on her. Honestly, it was annoying after a point to see her being so utterly naive and allowing this man to walk all over her.

2. I was also not the biggest fan of the ending. It seems far too rushed and abrupt.

Rating: 3.5/5

I did enjoy this book and it's tone and writing. I do think that a lot of readers will be surprised by it. In the sense that, if you go in expecting Twinkle Khanna's usual humour and lightness, this might not be what you signed up for. Just be prepared for a different sort of read. 

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