Monday, 15 October 2018

#BookReview: All Among The Barley by Melissa Harrison

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Title: All Among The Barley
Author: Melissa Harrison
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
Published on: 23rd August 2018
Binding: Paperback

The fields were eternal, 
our life the only way of things,
and I would do whatever was 
required of me to protect it.


From the author of Costa-shortlisted and Baileys-longlisted At Hawthorn Time comes a major new novel. Set on a farm in Suffolk just before the Second World War, it introduces a girl on the cusp of adulthood. 

Fourteen-year-old Edie Mather lives with her family at Wych Farm, where the shadow of the Great War still hangs over a community impoverished by the Great Depression. Glamorous outsider Constance FitzAllen arrives from London, determined to make a record of fading rural traditions and beliefs, and to persuade Edie's family to return to the old ways rather than embrace modernity. She brings with her new political and social ideas – some far more dangerous than others.

For Edie, who has just finished school and must soon decide what to do with her life, Connie appears to be a godsend. But there is more to the older woman than meets the eye. As harvest time approaches and the pressures mount on the entire Mather family, Edie must decide whose version of reality to trust, and how best to save herself from disaster. 

A masterful evocation of the rhythms of the natural world and pastoral life, All Among the Barley is also a powerful and timely novel about influence, the lessons of history and the dangers of nostalgia.


The cover page of the book is simple and attractive in saffron colour with image of barley. It is very well suitable with the plot of the book. The book title and the author's name is written in capitals with white ink. I really liked the cover page a lot.


There are some books which gives peace and serenity to a reader. And, All Among The Barley by Melissa Harrison was one such book for me. It was not a quick read for me, I took a long time to read it patiently. It is a perfect book to read in Autumn season.

All Among The Barley revolves around a 14 year old Edie,who lives with her family at Wych Farm.The book is set in the 1930s rural England and the shadow of Great War hangs on the people of Wych Farm and the people have not recovered from the Great War. Soon, an outsider Constance FitzAllen comes to the Wych Farm from England to make a record of the fading rural traditions and beliefs. FitzAllen brings in her own ideas of political and social life and becomes a good friend of Edie. Edie helps her a lot in knowing about the farm and the various traditions.

The writing style of author Melissa Harrison is so amazing that I just dived into the book. I read a lot of portions of the book not just once rather thrice or four times. Her writing style is beautiful and very exquisite. The narration is very nice an subtle in nature. The way she has written about the rural England is very commendable. A very well researched book.

The plot of the story is quite heavy but is very interesting. It is a very well described account of Edie, her family, her adolescence period and her  various emotions. Initially, the book moves at a slow pace but it picks up pace in the second half. All the events in the book are written in a very detailed manner. 

There are not so many characters in the story but Edie in herself is a complete and a well developed character. I really liked her character and was able to connect with her at various points in the book. I loved how she was so much involved in the books and her relation with her brother Frank was quite different and I loved their conversations.

Overall, it was a nice book filled with simplicity and I had a great time reading it. I would highly recommend this book to the historical fiction lovers.

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Melissa  Harrison

Melissa Harrison is the author of the novels Clay and At Hawthorn Time, which was shortlisted for the Costa Novel Award and longlisted for the Bailey's Women's Prize, and one work of non-fiction, Rain, which was longlisted forthe Wainwright Prize. She is a nature writer, critic and columnist for The Times, the Financial Times and the Guardian, among others.

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* I received a copy of the book from the publisher (Bloomsbury India) in exchange of a review. Thank You.

Sunday, 7 October 2018

#BookReview: Hungry Gods by Richa Lakhera

Title: Hungry Gods
Author: Richa Lakhera
Published on: 20th July 2018
Publisher: Rupa Publications
Binding: Paperback
ISBN: 978-9353040796


Beaten and brutally raped, her body is never found. However, the killers make one mistake. They leave a witness, a witness who has nothing to live for except revenge. And when he crosses the boundaries of time to make the guilty pay, a whole lot of dark characters come to light. There is Valentine, the superstar brand ambassador who sells anything for a price; there is Medici, a pharmaceutical company fraudulently manufacturing banned drugs; there is the perverted and sinister minded Dr Ranga, and there is Este, the prostitute whose dark secret will blow up a daughter’s sanity. So, is there another murder waiting to happen? Will Police Inspector Dorab Silva be able to connect the clues to prevent another crime? Will these gods of greed be exposed? And yes, you will be surprised by who you will find there, finally. Deeply unsettling, Hungry Gods takes a hard look at greed for wealth and power.


The cover page of the book is so captivating and attractive. It is very eye catchy and a colourful cover page in colours of black, red, orange,yellow and gold. I really liked it a lot.


I  love to read thriller novels especially the ones that make me stick to my reading corner and Hungry Gods is one such book.Hungry Gods by Richa Lakhera is a very dark themed and a powerful thriller revolving around rape, sexual exploitation,black money ,drugs, trafficking etc. It is an intense story of revenge and crime. The story begins with the murder of Dinesh Thackray and Inspector Silva was investigating the murder, but it was not just one murder that he had to investigate. People involved in Dinesh's life were all presented in this murder mystery.

Hungry Gods is a very gripping tale, filled with suspense. The plot line is so intriguing, solid and interesting filled with so much tension and the events are described so well in a detailed manner. It is filled with twists and turns. I was very well able to visualise the happenings making my read all the more interesting. It is a short read which can be easily finished in a day.The writing style of the author is so nice and it is written in a simple language with a fast paced and a crisp narration that I was not able to put it down. It is a very well written book.

There are a lot of characters in the story and each of them is very well developed and it is difficult to manage so many characters but it was very easily done and I was able to keep the track of the characters. The book is set in two timelines i.e. 1993 and present which created a bit confusion for me but it got all cleared at the end. A very dark thriller book having elements of hate, revenge, love, relationships and mystery.

Overall, Hungry Gods is a very engaging book which sends chills down your spine.  It is a very dark thriller and I enjoyed reading it. I would highly recommend this book to all thriller lovers.

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Image result for richa lakhera
Hungry Gods is Richa Lakhera’s third novel, she has previously written Item Girl, a crime novel and Garbage Beat, a satire on the Indian entertainment industry. A libertarian addicted to absurdism, she works as Deputy Editor at NDTV. She has a Master’s in Organic Chemistry and Bio-technology and is the recipient of the Indian Council for UN Relations (ICUNR) Award for Excellence in Journalism. Richa divides her time between New Delhi and Mumbai and is currently working on her next crime fiction novel.

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Wednesday, 12 September 2018

#CoverReveal: Paradise Towers by Shweta Bachchan- Nanda

~Cover Reveal~


by Shweta Bachchan- Nanda

HarperCollins India to launch Shweta Bachchan-Nanda’s debut novelParadise Towerson 10th October 2018.


Dinesh opens the door to the Kapoor flat to find Lata, the enchantress who works at Mrs Aly Khan’s, carrying a hot case with freshly made gaajar ka halwa. On the first floor, the inquisitive Mrs Mody wipes the dust off her precious binoculars to spy on the building’s security guard. The Singhs open the doors of their SUV, their four boys creating a ruckus – they are the newcomers, the outsiders. Through the peephole, the ever-watchful Mrs Ranganekar observes their arrival. Welcome to Paradise Towers, an apartment building in central Mumbai. Everyone here has a story to tell. Or maybe they have stories to hide.

Shweta Bachchan-Nanda’s quirky, intimate debut explores the intertwined lives in this building – a forbidden romance, an elopement, the undercurrents of tension in corridor interactions and an explosive Diwali celebration. Shweta Bachchan-Nanda’s is a dazzling voice that will draw you into the intoxicating, crazy world that is Paradise Towers.

Speaking about how she came to write Paradise TowersShweta Bachchan-Nanda said, ‘I grew up with my grandfather who was a poet and a writer. Writing and reading was always a very important part of our lives. I’ve been writing a diary ever since I was a little girl, and wrote stories that I never shared with anyone. Then, one day I just said, I am going to take this plunge. I started writing a column for a newspaper in Mumbai and it gave me a lot of confidence to go ahead and do this full time, and that’s where Paradise Towers comes from.’

Praise for the book

Karan Johar, renowned filmmaker, further added, ‘Observant, moving, hilarious and exceptionally astute... Paradise Towers is no slice of's an entire loaf. Shweta “builds” her debut novel with the ease of a literary veteran. Go find your Paradise between these pages!’

Shreya Punj, Assistant Editor, HarperCollins India, who acquired the book, said, ‘I fell in love with the story when I first read it. Now,Paradise Towers is ready to meet its readers, and I cannot wait for people to fall in love with this quirky, intimate world Shweta has created. We’re proud to be publishing her debut – it’s fresh, insightful and a story that will resonate with everyone.’


Shweta Bachchan-Nanda is a columnist for DNA and Vogue. A well-known personality, she is the daughter of actors Jaya and Amitabh Bachchan. Shweta is married to Nikhil Nanda and is the mother of two children. She has her own clothing label, MxS, which launched in 2018. She lives in New Delhi. This is her first novel.

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Tuesday, 11 September 2018

#BookReview: Into The Great Heart by Kamla K. Kapur

Title: Into The Great Heart
Author: Kamla K. Kapur
Publisher: Jaico Publishing House
Published on: 22nd July 2018
Binding: Paperback

" You are my Angad...a part of me, you are my successor."


From the bestselling author of Classic Tales from Mystic India, The Singing Guru and Rumi: Tales to Live By, comes the second book in the Sikh saga series about Bhai Lehna’s journey from being Guru Nanak’s constant disciple to becoming Guru Angad (1504 – 1552), his successor and the second Sikh Guru.

Into the Great Heart carries forward and concludes the stories of Guru Nanak and Bhai Mardana, his favourite minstrel, from the first volume of the Sikh saga, The Singing Guru. History, legend and fiction merge to populate this book with fascinating personalities from Sikh history. Pivotal to this narrative are forgotten female luminaries such as Guru Nanak’s wife, Mata Sulakhni, his sister, Bebe Nanaki, Bhai Lehna’s wife, Khivi and daughter Amro. Brought to the foreground, their wisdom and insights as they overcome obstacles to spiritual growth embody the basic tenets of Sikhism in everyday living. They enhance Guru Nanak and Bhai Lehna’s tale with their diverse approach to life.

Filled with captivating characters that enrich the tapestry of this compelling narrative, Into the Great Heart is a must-read for anyone who loves a rich story about human nature in its search for spiritual awareness.


The cover page of the book Into the Heart Of hope is so beautiful having image of Baba Nanak and others. The background colour of yellow is very. It is a very attractive and a nice cover.


When I got Into the Great Heart in my hands , I was very excited to read it. Belonging to a Punjabi family, I have grown up listening to stories of Sikh gurus from my grandparents which made me all the more curious to read the book. There are few books which leaves a mark in your life and this book is one of them. Till now, it is one my favourite books of the year 2018. The book is second book in the Sikh saga series.

Into The Great Heart revolves around Bhai Lehna, an ardent follower of Maa Durga who visited Kirtarpur along with his daughter Amro just to see Baba Nanak out of curiousity and through the book, the reader gets to know a lot about Bhai Lehna and his love for Baba Nanak and how he becomes the successor of Baba Nanak. The book is divided into two halves- The Dancing Guru: Lehna and Into the Great Heart. It is a very well researched book.

Into The Great heart is a very heartwarming read which I read slowly and patiently tying to take in as much as I can. It took me away from the reality to a totally different world. The way it is penned is so marvellous in a very subtle and lyrical language which flowing like a fluid that made me immerse into the book. Author's writing style is very innovative which made me stick to the book. It is not a book that is listing down the teachings of  Guru Nanak Devji rather it is in form of a story with such an amazing narration involving all the historic events like the mention of Aurangzeb and the daily activities. The pace is not too fast nor slow, it very calmly moves at its own pace. There are so many versus of Baba Nanak in the book which I loved. 

The book holds a lot of characters such as Baba Nanak, Bhai Lehna, Bhai Mardana, Buddha, Bebe Sulakhni, Bebe Nanaki, Aziza and various others. All the major characters are very well evolved and developed and are very realistic. I really liked how the female characters were so strong. Each character in the story holds a very prominent place. I was amazed reading about the love between Baba Nanak and Bhai Mardana and I loved the portions of Bhai Mardana's narration. Budhha was the main narrator of the story and I loved the relation between Aziza and Buddha. The author has done a fantastic job.

The book teaches a lot about life in a very simple way. It has imparted a lot of information about the Sikh community and their practices such as listening shabads, langars they conduct and others. It has made me think a lot and helped me change my perspective towards a lot of issues in life. The story is so enlightening that it touched my heart in a great manner and gave me a sense of calmness. I don't know how many times I discussed the tales in the book with my grandparents. 

Overall, Into the Great Heart is a beautiful book which enlightens the reader, draws the history of Sikhism through a wonderful story. It is an amazing work. I really loved this book which taught me a lot. It made me cry as well as smile. I would highly recommend this book to everyone. 

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Kamla K. Kapur

Kamla K. Kapur (aka Kamal Kapur) was born and raised in India, and is a citizen of the United States. She got her Bachelor's in English Honors from India, and her Masters' Degree in literature from Kent State University, Ohio,USA. She also took classes in creative writing from the University of Iowa, and the University of California in San Diego. During her time in the USA, many of her poems were published in prestigious American journals and quarterlies. Kamla K Kapur’s previous books include Classic Tales from Mystic India and Pilgrimage to Paradise. She is also a poet (As a Fountain in a Garden, Radha Speaks), a short story writer and an award winning playwright. She and her husband, Payson R. Stevens, live half the year in the Kullu Valley in the Himalayas and the other half in Southern California, USA.

*I received a free copy of the book from Writersmelon in exchange of an honest and an unbiased review.

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