Friday, May 20, 2016

Meantime Girl by Sindhu S

Rating: WORTHY!

"Anjali blinked, allowing a sigh wander past her sneer" should read "...allowing a sigh to wander past..."
"The entire blame will to be on you" should lose the 'to' and read, "The entire blame will be on you"
The 'to' from the previous example belongs here between 'gotten' and 'her'!"The arrogance of Siddharth’s editor had gotten her"
"got along famously well with her son’s wife, and kids, than with her own daughter." should read "...better than she did with her own daughter."
"Her fingers, creased from the bath, slipped grandma in her musings."? "...reminded her of grandma's fingers..." maybe?
There's an odd speech quote at the end of stifling unease.” which should not be there.
There's an entire paragraph repeated. It begins, "When the first bell sounded minutes later, Anjali stood in the orientation hall..."
"Lunch chocked her" should be "Lunch choked her".

This is a novella which started life as a novel. Where the rest of it went, I don't know, but I think the author was smart to précis it. It would have been a bit of a trial to read a full-length novel in this style. Written in 2012, this novel by an Indian author and set in India, tells the story of a doomed love affair between the young, rather impetuous Anjali and the older, married Sidharth, who is frankly not worthy of her. It takes her a long time to realize it. The novel is very widely spaced between paragraphs, so it's actually even shorter than you might think from the page count.

The story read more like a poem than a prose novel and it was charming. English isn't the author's first language, and it shows in the way this is phrased, making for writing that is by turns endearing and confusing! The more I read though, the more I got into the rhyme and reason of it, and I found it to be quite exhilarating and really warmed to it, especially after I'd read the ending. I don't know if I really liked either of the main characters. Sidharth definitely not, but at least Anjali wised-up and took charge, and began to take serious responsibility for the way her life had gone, and that made it worth while for me.

In addition to the sometimes amusing phraseology, there were some intentional moments of real fun, such as this part:

"What can I do? God’s will,” the maid said picking up the laundry basket.
“Did you hear that, Anju? She just called a prick God.”
I laughed out loud at that one.

Overall I think this was a worthy read and I ended up liking the story. I have a soft spot for India though, so your mileage might well differ!

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