Book Review - Perfectly Untraditional

Perfectly Untraditional is a perfect first novel by Sweta Srivastava Vikram although she is known to the literary world for her collections of poetry.
Perfectly Untraditional is a story about a woman Shaili who finds her true self only after being married off by her family in an arranged marriage. The story is certainly not about arrange marriages and its trepidations or even about immigration and its after effects. Its a journey of inner soul into self realisation. There are some genuine sparks within the narrative and readers become curious to know more and more about the happenings in Shaili's life.

The story explores the relationship between a father and a daughter and in the process reveals various nuances of feelings and some buried secrets.
"Do you recall the last time you called me Shaili? Frankly, I don't. I was always a pronoun or a bad adjective to you."
"Don't argue! I won't tolerate it! Your mother has taught you nothing. You are just like her! ... I must stop this nonsense or else you will become like your mother and ..."
As the daughter and father gradually clear their misunderstandings, the readers are taken in into their inner space to reveal the true mysteries behind these character's actions.

The male characters in this stories are a breath of fresh air as they bring the positive energy into display in spite of their very complex life. Mr Suresh Kapoor and Sadhil are both likable characters even though they have their flaws. Sadhil is almost too good to be true. Shaili's best friend Su or Supriya is the most lively character and her vivaciousness helps anchor the seriousness of the main characters.

The characters are very well drawn by the author but there are no villains in the story. The drama is played up or down by the emotional upheavals within the individual characters. The author has cleverly interwoven the complexities of personalities with the simplicity of human nature creating a very interesting mix for all to enjoy. All in all a very good read that will keep the readers glued to the pages.

A book review by Smita Singh



Coming up...

Submission now open for 2011 VAANI Anthology. V would like to celebrate the ethos of Olympics 2012 happening here in London. Hence V are dedicating our next Anthology to the cause so that people are inspired and encouraged to be a part of the amazing sport culture and its also our way of saying V care.

The topic is emotions, feelings, joys and sorrows related to any sports, or you could write a fictional account of how a particular sport was invented, or on any game that's played only in one particular country/town which no one else knows about.

Submissions are open for short stories, poems and essays. There is a selection process through which all the entries go through and only the selected entries are published. The Anthology is scheduled to be published in October 2011.

Submissions to: submissions@vaani.org
Closing date: 31st August 2011

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