Monday, 18 April 2016

Book Review - An Autograph for Anjali by Sundari Venkatraman


AN AUTOGRAPH FOR ANJALI
Author: Sundari Venkatraman
Published by: Flaming Sun

An Autograph For Anjali starts with a murder. A rather unexpected start for a romance. 
The mystery, of not just the murder but also of the relationships of the people in question, is heightened by the the many allusions in the narrative.

Anjali, an intelligent woman, has spent years of her life being a housewife. A wife to a man who has always treated her like 'a dumb woman, a doormat'.

"Anjali felt like a bird with clipped wings. Her husband trimmed them regularly, ensuring that she never was free to do things on her own."

The husband in question, Jayant Mathur is a selfish being, incapable of sensitivity. Much as I felt angry at him as I read An Autograph For Anjali, I pitied him more. He could have had such a good life, had it not been for his foolish behavious and beliefs.
If his wife is upset, he feels she is being unreasonable. When she starts keeping a distance from him, he assumes the worst. 'It never struck him to simply ask her' what she needs.

Their son, Arjun sees Anjali the way she is -
"You think modern; you're broad-minded, creative and a go-getter."

Parth is the quintessential hero - good-looking, chivalrous, understanding, and successful.

Jayant Mathur's murder is where the story starts. As the past is unveiled, I got absorbed in it. I would have to remind myself during reading the book that this story is leading up to a murder. The events of Anjali's life make for an emotive story that one gets caught in it.

An Autograph For Anjali is a sensitive book. The story is does not rely on any abrupt twists to carry it forward. Rather it is the minute details that make for its' moving narrative. The emotions, that can so easily come across as shallow clichés, have been written with delicacy and perceptiveness by the author.

I love the cover of An Autograph For Anjali. It includes a lot of hints about the book, but in a subtle way. Red and white hues surround the two hands with coffee cups. The waves make, what seem like, fleeting images. The two bullets stand out in contrast to the rest of the soothing image making the required impact as the mystery element of this romance.

Parts of An Autograph For Anjali are too good to be true, but that is how I like my romances, so no complaints from me at all.
Anjali has the support of two perfect guys - her son, Arjun and Parth... both the perfect heroes for a romance novel.
Will we get to read the story of Arjun's relationship with Jane soon? I wonder...

An Autograph For Anjali is a romance with a little mystery spicing it up. For me, though, it is primarily the story of a woman coming into her own. 
Having lived in the shadow of her husband, feeling 'stripped of her self-respect', she grows into a confident person, who accepts and loves herself.

An Autograph For Anjali is my introduction to the world of Sundari Venkatraman and I will surely come back for more.

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The italicized text in quotation marks are quotes from the book.

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.



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Blurb

Jayant Mathur is found murdered in his bed, shot at point-blank range with his own revolver. Though she’s extremely disturbed by his death, Jayant’s wife Anjali is way more upset about something else. Who stands to gain by killing the multi-millionaire businessman?

Parth Bhardwaj is a friend and neighbour of the Mathurs. Parth is an author who goes by a pseudonym. He appears more than a friend to Anjali; while he’s also on good terms with her son Arjun who lives and studies in the UK. What role does he play in Anjali’s life? Jayant’s relatives are curious to know.

Jayant’s brother-in-law Rana is convinced that Parth and Anjali are the murderers. But Inspector Phadke has his own doubts about this theory. In comes Samrat, the private detective who appears as quiet as a mouse. Will he be able to find the murderer?

Will Anjali find happiness and peace?


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ABOUT THE AUTHOR


In 2014, Sundari self-published The Malhotra Bride (2nd Edition); Meghna; The Runaway Bridegroom; Flaming Sun Collection 1: Happily Ever Afters From India (Box Set) and Matches Made In Heaven (a collection of romantic short stories).

2015 brought yet another opportunity. Readomania came forward to traditionally publish this book - The Madras Affair - a mature romance set in Madras.

An Autograph for Anjali, a romance with a touch of suspense, is also a self-published novel. Going a step further, the author has published the paperback version through Notion Press.

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4 comments:

  1. WOW! What a review Nimi Arora. Feeling honoured and thrilled to read it. :D
    You have exactly understood what my book is about - "a woman coming to her own"
    Yes, I have announced at the end of this novel that "ARJUN'S PENANCE" should be coming in 2017

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. All thanks to you as I loved reading your book. Looking forward to Arjun's story

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  2. Well, here's the thing I don't like blood and gore and who done it books. Reading has a tendency to put me to sleep so I really don't read much. Now this one starts out like that... and they have all the questions right there. Let's find out who this person is and why, but at least you're not guessing at what kind of book it is. It definitely stands up and says it. I like that.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There is no blood and gore, just an indication towards it. I hope you do try it, Marie.
      Welcome to my blog :)

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