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Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Invisible Ties by Nadya A.R

Title: Invisible Ties

Author: Nadya A.R.

Publisher: Rupa Publications Limited. 

Genre: Non-Fiction

Date:  2017

Price: INR 173

Pages: 272

This is the story of Noor's journey, a girl who is sensitive, intuitive and loves tales of the bygone era. Someone who craves extraordinary in the ordinary. 

The story begins as she finds herself facing the ghost of the man who took care of her the most, her driver, Uncle Joseph. Unable to reconcile with the events of the past to all this year's she follows him. As she walks down the memory lane, she is forced to relive those moments.

It then immediately shifts taking the reader to her childhood and upbringing. The writer spends time in character building here, detailing the events of her past which helps one paint a picture of her nature, relationships especially with her parents and her circumstances. An extraordinary circumstance shifts her life into taking a decision to marry a man through an arranged alliance. The rest of the story is about her journey in coming to terms with her life, understanding people around her and the relationships that thus form form her nature and understanding, justifying the title "invisible ties". There is one more relationship, with her mirror, the special companion and the only one she speaks through since her childhood, significance of which can be seen as it gains the central element on the cover of the book.

Coming to the positives of the book, the character of Noor is very relatable. A lonely child, a social butterfly mother and her only companion being an inanimate object. Also as she traverses through various events, crests and troughs in her journey of life, her true self evolves and it is this evolution with her changing life that was most intriguing to me as a reader. Giving more details about the story would be a spoiler in this case.

Further the author's choice of exquisite words to describe minute details of the surroundings makes it a delightful read for the seasoned reader, one in love with the written word. Coming to the negatives of the book, I felt the edits were abrupt at some places and the development of the other characters, their behaviour or reaction to the events unfolding seemed bizarre and out of the blue making it difficult for the reader to comprehend the proceedings. 
This should have been a book where the writer was allowed a free flow considering her flair for words, like that of Amitav Ghosh's book. 

Having said that this book is for a seasoned reader, someone who loves to savour not just the story but the words used to describe it, the subtle subtexts, complicated relationships and the descriptive historical stories it contains. If you are a Chetan Bhagat book lover this one isn't for you. 

RC rating: 3.5/5. Pick it up when you really missed reading and would love a story woven in beautiful words and history. Nadya A.R is certainly a brilliant writer in need of a great editor and publisher/ literary agent who would allow her the free flow and channelize it better. Will be waiting for more from her pen.

   About the Author:

Nadya A.R. began writing in her early twenties. She is a psychotherapist and regularly contributes articles related to psychotherapy and conducts workshops, seminars and talks, in Pakistan and Singapore. This is her second novel.

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