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Friday, September 14, 2018

A Secret Deal by Antara Das

Title: A Secret Deal
Author: Antara Das
Category: Fiction
Publisher: 24by7 Publishing
Price: INR 190/-
Pages: 183

This is a love story which begins in an innocent manner on campus. However, life has its own twists and turns which spiral the love between the protagonists Akash and Anya into a very different plane. This story is also a love triangle, but with a difference.  

Detailed Review:
Antara Das’s debut novel, A Secret Deal is a love story that begins on a college campus. Akash Kashyap, the versatile young drummer of the college band is understandably the college heartthrob. Rich, handsome, an only child, politically connected, passionate...he is the ideal dream guy. Anya Dutta is alluring, independent and beautiful. She joins Akash in his band as the lead singer. 

Well, it is natural that sparks fly when they meet. But, all love stories have a twist and this one is no different. As the innocent college romance flourishes into something more potent, life intervenes. Will they have a happy ending together? Or will the fate of their love be sealed with a secret deal? With Akash and Anya at the centre of the story the book takes a peek into the lives of youth and what love really means to them. 

Through varied characters the explores different kinds of love - friendships, parental love, companionship and romantic love. Akash’s relationship with his parents also forms an integral part of the narrative, where the author explores a sub-theme of love amongst spouses, and how love changes with changing circumstances in life. However, it is the relationship between Anya and her childhood friend Sarthak that explores the notion of unconditional love. The friends of the protagonists also play a key role in the story, reflecting the increasingly important role played by friends in the lives of the youth today.

The pace of the book is fast, and livens up a bit more after the first half. The story is told from alternating points of view between Akash and Anya. This technique of telling the story, coupled with a short crisp conversational tone kind of paces the novel. There is a twist to the tale as well. It starts off as a predictable love story but a couple of plot diversions adds an element of interest. 

Well, the book does have quite a few expletives (though nothing you will not hear in a group of regular youngsters having a regular conversation!) which for me, seems unnecessary. The book reflects the campus life of today in a realistic manner.

The love triangle is a familiar theme. There is a twist in the end but in my opinion that is also a theme that is overdone.  However, there are some elements of idealism in the love story. The notion of ‘ideal pure love’ seems almost too good to be true.

The book will primarily appeal to college going young adults since they will be able to readily identify with the themes, emotions and events described. 

A romantic read.

RC Rating: 3 /5

About the Author:
Dhanishta Shah is a Mumbai-based freelance writer. In her work over the past ten years, she has explored and devoured a range of genres such as education, architecture, lifestyle, fashion, art, literature, people-profiling, parenting, health, travel, specialist areas such as watches, trade publications and so on.

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