A bouquet for senses, this purely literary work is an exceptional creation in almost all the respects…Superb plot, extraordinary expressions, excellent language and author’s utmost command on the rhythm of the story makes the novel one of the best works of contemporary English literary fiction. The exceptional combination of prose and verses delivers a unique shade to the novel.
A work of real ambition must invent its own language and this one does. The linguistic expressions of the work have myriad shades and the author has taken due liberty in using archaic words that however doesn’t seem to be in outplace but amalgamate with the contemporary English pretty well. A few action words have been intentionally invented that in due coarse may be included in the standard dictionary in the long run.
The story depicts sorrow in a new-fangled sense, unheard and unseen before. The cardinal character of this stony and entirely ruthless work, Devi undergoes immense torment that she bears with a dejected heart and battered soul. Devi’s life becomes a gallimaufry with pangs and torments striking her entity from all the corners. The angst that she faces starts even before her birth and continue till she takes rebirth in form of a Devi (the goddess). The work is all in all a feminist novel that gives a justifiable opinion about the place of women in this man-dominated world. The author aptly uses the ancient cultural heritage of India to ascertain the fact that the men if best, women are bestest.
The story is set in rural India of 60s in the remote village of Uttar-Pradesh. The problems of casteism, economic divisions, superficial education and the democracy have been dealt in beautifully satiric way. The concepts of humanity, family and polity have been also tackled in an entirely different notion, and have therefore been given new dimensions. The most remarkable part of the novel is author’s courage to depict the ills of the society and the ancient cultural heritage of India and also of the contemporary Indian society. The author is courageous enough to beard these evils and bring out a new avatar of life for the entire mankind.
The overall language of the novel, for an average reader, may sound to be tough as the author has taken liberty in using archaic, old English and Shakespearean words frequently. This however may be justified on two grounds. One, an archaic plot needs an archaic language and secondly, the effortless flow of expressions themselves delivers the meaning of those words. A few poetic phrases and verses give an epic shade to the novel as those are aptly placed wherever the emotional ecstasy and psychological plunder are brimmed and can only be depicted in verse. The lethal combination of prose and poetry makes this work absolutely addictive and ensures the reading of the novel in a single go.
In nutshell, this novel is not a coffee-table read that one can go through and forget. This is a pure literary fiction that’ll surely leave an impact on the readers’ mind and make them rethink about the conventions of humanity and society that have been, for long, ruling the humans. This work, in my views, can be counted in the list of classics and must get its due. I strongly recommend this novel.