Book title – Girl in a Million
Publisher – Room9 publications, ArtoonsInn Pages – 180 Language – English
Author – Anitha Padanattil
Price – ₹ 0/- for the Kindle unlimited edition and ₹ 224/- for the paperback
Available on – Amazon.in
Even though it is not one, ‘Girl in a Million’ reads like a well-written memoir. The book is set in Ooty or Ootacamund as the hill station was known at that time and explores the lives of four friends who band together and choose to call themselves the Zenana. This is one part that I am sure most of us will identify with – friendships and coating ourselves in a faux sense of security by giving the relationship a name. Haven’t we all done that, at one time or the other, in our school lives? But, does that faux sense extend to envelop us in security, in reality? Well, that is what the book explores via tragedy and helplessness over that one tragic incident.
Within the folds of the book is contained a story of the aforementioned friendships, relationships and also grit. The four girls are as different as chalk and cheese and yet they connect over their differences to form an everlasting bond. The book takes you through the past and present lives of the central protagonist Dr Sagarika (aka our Girl in a Million – Koteshwari) and focuses on the relationships in her life and the associations that she forms therein. But, sometimes the past shackles us so brutally that its echoes ricochet through periods of our present and even shadow our yet to be experienced future. That is the theme of the book. This is a book about overcoming the past, about triumphing over the incendiary incidents of the past that tend to leave an indelible mark both psychologically and emotionally.
The language in the book is beautiful with POVs that shift between the main protagonist and also the supporting characters. That makes for a nice break from the monotony of uni-tone. The narrative is even-paced and equal space has been given to each individual character to etch their personality sketch. But, the back and forth between the POVs, and the past and the present, takes a concentrated effort to understand if one is not paying attention to the story line. If you miss the introductory parts or treat the book as a breezy read then you are likely to miss out on the intricate plot incorporated later on in the book.
All in all, the book manages to capture the interest if you like story lines with suspense and a hint of thrill that are backed by good language. This is a story of the present, haunted by the murmurs of the past.