Book title – Shadow in the mirror
Genre – Thriller, drama
Publisher – Readomania Pages – 206 Language – English
Author – Deepti Menon
Price – ₹ 0/- for the Kindle unlimited edition and ₹ 207/- for the paperback
Available on – Amazon.in
What would you expect from a book that is titled ‘Shadow in the mirror’? Would you expect horror? Or perhaps, you would expect the book to be a racy thriller with aspects of fear woven into the story line? I expected both and I was pleasantly surprised to find a third genre that was prominently showcased by Deepti Menon – drama. The book is laced with dramatic emotions that churn in the hearts of the characters – sometimes expressed but mostly hidden.
The characters are individually distinct and yet they are incomplete without their links to the other characters in the story. The narrative is compelling and grips a reader’s attention from the start. The plotline intrigues you – Why did the pregnant Nita fall off her balcony? Was it suicide or murder? How does her death impact those around her – her doting husband, her loving father and her sweet aunty? Will Vinny, the journalist covering the story be able to solve the mystery?
Nita’s death creates ripples in the lives of those around her and Deepti has deftly explored these inter-linkages through a stunning montage of the past and the present. Her story spans generations, measuring the tempestuous emotions via a flashback into the lives of the characters. This book is like a multi-layered slice of coffee and chocolate cake. You start off by reading language that is poetic like the delectable sweet icing on the cake. But, as you turn the pages, dig deeper into the cake, you discover hidden surprises. At times you get the squishy mellowness of the molten chocolate that makes you sigh; at others you get the bitterness of a coffee bean. But, what you do not get – is bored. This book does not allow you to feel ennui. It may meander in and out of the past but the incorporation of the ages has been done with such sensitivity that nowhere in the book does text feel disjointed or out of place. Each word, each sentence has meaning and it has been thoughtfully inserted to allow you to feel the entire gamut of emotions that the characters are feeling. There are sub-plots within the main plot and undercurrents of simmering prejudices that would appear too much if not for the deft manner in which the author ties them all up in the end. She presents you a story which is like a bouquet of many flowers. Each flower has a role to play – the rose is for aroma, the gladioli is for adornment, the candy tufts are fillers, the palm fronds are ornamental, etc; all tied together to present their collective beauty.
This book deals with prejudices that are rampant in the fabric of Indian society. It challenges beliefs via its protagonists. It dares you to think what a person’s life becomes when the sorrow of loss is dumped on them. Some people refuse to accept the loss and create a world of their own, others break down and lose their spirit but, there are also those who defiantly continue to challenge life, forging a path ahead. This book is homage to all such souls.
I recommend this book to everyone. And, as for what happened to Nita…well, read the book to find out. But, I promise you, the unravelling of the mystery will blow your socks off.